Former Craig resident, WWII veteran Edward “Sam” Lippard dies in Delta County at 102
A Texan by birth, a Coloradoan through adventure, and a decorated World War II veteran through sheer courage and determination, former Craig resident and business owner Edward “Sam” Lippard, 102, passed away peacefully on April 3 at his home in Delta.
A family man through and through, Lippard spent his final days with family by his side. Lippard will be buried in a private graveside service on Monday, April 13 in Craig in a plot next to his first wife, Dora Maxine Doak, who preceded him in death.
Born in Pearsall, TX on May 5, 1917, Lippard – the fifth of eight children – grew up in the Texas Panhandle but heard the mountains of Colorado – namely Moffat County – calling late in his teenage years, moving to Moffat County in the mid-1930s. A few years later, Lippard married Dora on June 1, 1940 in Vernal, Utah.
Once settled in Moffat County though, World War II came calling for Lippard, who joined the United States Army and landed on the beaches of Normandy on June 7, 1944, one day after the historic invasion into Europe by the Allied forces.
From there, Private First Class Lippard fought street to street through the likes of France, the Netherlands, Belgium, and on into Germany, playing a part in helping the Allied forces defeat the Nazis in the European theater, all the while carrying on the Lippard name in the service as one of four brothers serving in WWII. Two of Lippard’s brothers were U.S. Marines.
Thanks to his service, Lippard was awarded three medals before being honorably discharged from the U.S. Army in 1946, returning home to Craig, where he made a career for himself as a plumber.
Following his return to the area in 1946, Lippard found work with ML Shepherd and Sons Inc. There, Lippard earned his journeyman plumber’s license in five years (which was how long a journeyman’s license takes in the plumbing business), and then earned his master’s license with ML Shepherd and Sons Inc.
“He was a good worker and a very nice man,” Al Shepherd, who was a young kid at the time Lippard first started, said. “He was just a very likeable person and went about his business quietly; he did his job the way he was supposed to.”
After obtaining his master plumber’s license, Lippard branched off on his own and opened Lippard Plumbing in Craig, located where the current unemployment office in Craig is at 480 Barclay Street. Around the same time, Lippard and his wife briefly had a plumbing business in Meeker, and also owned the Ripple Creek Lodge on the White River from 1959 until selling in 1971.
Barclay Street brings back a funny memory of Lippard for Al Shepherd.
“I remember he had this little Ford van in the early 60s,” Shepherd chuckled. “He was parked at the top of Barclay Street and the wind was blowing hard up there; so hard, it rocked his van back and forth and kicked it out of gear. That van went rolling down the hill so fast, hit a tree and demolished the van. I’ll always remember that, especially when I’m on that street.”
Later in life, Lippard packed up and moved he and his wife to Cedaredge in 1976, closing Lippard Plumbing in Craig.
That move allowed Lippard to be closer to family, which played an important role in his life following the war.
“I remember one day having a conversation with my great grandfather, and he said that when he was in the war, he missed a lot of time with his family,” Great Granddaughter Cassie Meyer – a Craig resident, said. “He made it a point to spend as much time as possible with his family after returning home.”
Shortly before shipping off to Europe in 1943, Lippard’s wife, Dora, gave birth to their daughter, Carla, in July 1941, and son, Garry, in 1942.
Cedaredge became home for a long time for the Lippard family, where many holidays, birthdays, and family get-togethers were celebrated.
“Growing up, he was very, very involved with his grand kids and great grand kids,” Meyer said. “We’d spend a lot of time in Cedaredge with my family; spent a lot of holidays and stuff down there. He used to let me sit with him on the lawn mower, and we’d ride around. They would also come up to Craig for a lot of holidays as well. He was just really, really involved in family things.”
Following the death of Maxine in 1993, Lippard packed up and moved to Delta County, later marrying his second wife, Lula, in 1995. Lula preceded Sam in death in June 2019.
While in Delta, Lippard was very involved in the local V.F.W., and was a member of the First Baptist Church in Delta.
Living a quiet life with family around, Lippard’s family held a big 90th birthday celebration for him at his church.
“It was pretty amazing, actually,” Meyer said of the 90th birthday celebration in 2007. “We arranged it down in Delta. I wouldn’t say it was a complete surprise to him because I’m pretty sure he knew we were having a party for him, but he was surprised at home many people showed up to celebrate his birthday.”
Meyer said that the reception hall in the church was filled to capacity, and that it was touching to see the amount of people who made it a point to come out and visit him and celebrate his birthday.
Lippard’s 100th birthday was much quieter, according to Meyer, as he celebrated it at the nursing home where his wife, Lula, stayed.
Just a month shy of his 103rd birthday, Lippard passed away peacefully and will return to his first wife’s side in the Craig Cemetery Monday afternoon.
Lippard will take a piece of history with him to his grave. Buried with him will be an American flag that was presented to him for his 92nd birthday from his cousin. According to family members, that flag was flown at the White House specifically for Lippard.
Local veterans are currently planning a funeral procession through town for the decorated WWII veteran. Lippard’s obituary can be found on http://www.taylorfuneralservice.com.
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