Helen Tipton

Published 12:37 pm Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Helen Lucille Tipton of Tryon, N.C. passed away Sunday, June 11, 2017 at age 101. Helen was the third and youngest daughter of Nils Hendriks and Minnie Granlund Hendriks of Oxford, Ind. She graduated from Oxford High School and Lafayette Business College, and over her lifetime held jobs as an interior design consultant at A&A department store in Ft. Wayne and as a librarian at Camp Lejeune.

In 1933, she married Ross Tipton of Brazil, Ind., a professional educator and school administrator. Together, they lived in several communities in northern Indiana including Linden, Kentland, Delphi, and Auburn. During World War II, as Ross served in the Navy, Helen maintained the family household, even moving herself and their children to Virginia and Florida to live with Ross when he was stateside between deployments.

After the war, and once their children were in college, Helen and Ross moved overseas to work on American military bases. They lived in Adana, Turkey; Zeist, Holland; and Dreux, France. While overseas, she and Ross traveled extensively, visiting Israel, Syria, Lebanon, Cyprus, Greece, the United Kingdom, Germany, and her father’s home country of Sweden.

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Helen formed relationships with the students, musicians, and athletes that Ross supervised, as well as with their parents, military personnel, and many others. Children raised on the military bases kept in touch with Helen and Ross throughout the years, and remembered them in Christmas cards and in alumni newsletters until Ross passed away in 2013. She served as a hostess and unofficial ambassador to the communities they lived in, including being invited to meet Queen Juliana of the Netherlands.

After returning to the U.S., Helen and Ross lived in Jacksonville, N.C., where they worked at Camp Lejeune. Following retirement, they spent many years in Maitland, Fla., before returning to North Carolina to be near family.

Helen was an accomplished painter, skilled with both landscapes and portraits. A lifelong pianist and organist, Helen loved to play, and often was the organist for the churches she was a member of. Helen loved fishing, and many of her favorite times were spent with a fishing rod in the lakes of northern Minnesota, Florida, or wherever the fish were biting.

In Tryon, Helen and Ross were members of the Congregational Church. They lived at LaurelHurst in Columbus, and in her later years, Helen lived at Benson Hall at White Oak of Tryon. The staff and caretakers at White Oak dearly loved her, and she loved them in return, and was grateful to them for making her life so comfortable and secure. Her family thanks each and every one of them for their loving care and friendship.

Helen was predeceased by her husband Ross in 2013, her son Thomas Tipton of Tryon, N.C. in 2011, and her sisters Florence Johnson of Chicago, Ill. and Dorothy Law of Oxford, Ind. She is survived by her daughter Mary Catherine Holcomb of Tryon, her grandsons Erik Holcomb of Tryon and Brian Holcomb of Landrum, and by her granddaughter Christina (Tipton) Hammock of Orlando, Fla., Christina’s husband Damion, and their children Gregory, Jordan, and Julia.

A memorial service will be held at White Oak of Tryon at a date to be determined, followed by interment at the memorial garden at the Congregational Church of Tryon. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Hospice of the Carolina Foothills.

Condolences may be left at www.pettyfuneralhome.com.

Petty Funeral Home & Crematory
Landrum, S.C.