Ross Fredrik Tipton

Published 4:28 pm Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Ross Fredrik Tipton, 102, of Columbus died May 20, 2013 at Hospice of the Carolina Foothills. He was born Aug. 5, 1910, in Brazil, Indiana, the oldest of six children of Fred and Cora Tipton.

He was a lifelong musician, playing trumpet from a young age.  He graduated from Indiana State University, and received his Master’s degree from Purdue University in mathematics, chemistry, physics and music.  He married Helen Lucille Hendricks of Oxford, Indiana in 1937, four months after meeting her on a blind date.  They were devoted to each other and to their family, and happily celebrated 75 years of marriage together in September of 2012.

Ross was a professional educator, and worked as a teacher of math, science, and music, and was a basketball coach for many years.  He became a school Principal, then Superintendent, working in the towns of Oxford, Linden, Delphi and Auburn, Indiana.  During this time, he enlisted in the US Navy, serving as a Lieutenant JG radio officer on the USS Fergus in World War II.  He crossed the Pacific five times on the Fergus, and was in Okinawa three times.  Although he was exempt from the draft due to family and career obligations, Ross felt that he had to enlist in order to protect his family, and served honorably for several years.

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After the war, Ross worked for the Department of Defense, supervising schools for the children of American servicemen abroad.  He and Helen lived and worked in Turkey, Holland, France, and Germany.  Part of his legacy will be the thousands of people he taught, coached, or conducted, many of whom continue to remember him even decades later.  He regularly received letters from former students, particularly the alumni of the school in Dreux, France.