Ex-Yuma Mayor Tip­pett re­mem­bered for his kind­ness, lead­er­ship, strong work ethic

78-year-old dies of pan­cre­atic can­cer on Sun­day

Yuma Sun - - NEWS - BY BLAKE HER­ZOG @BLAKEHERZOG

For­mer Yuma mayor, coun­cil mem­ber and busi­ness­man Robert “Bob” Tip­pett, 78, died Sun­day in An­them of pan­cre­atic can­cer. He was 78.

Tip­pett served two terms on the city coun­cil, from 1974-82, and was mayor from 1990-94.

More re­cently, he had been a county com­mis­sioner in Nez Perce County, Idaho, for al­most six years, re­sign­ing last fall due to his ill­ness.

His son Bill Tip­pett of Camp Verde said Thurs­day he al­ways en­joyed pub­lic ser­vice, valu­ing long-term ben­e­fits over short-term gains.

“It was funny, he re­tired from eco­nomic devel­op­ment and just got bored, so he ran for county su­per­vi­sor up there (in Lewis­ton, Idaho), ended up serv­ing two terms,” Bill Tip­pett said.

“He loved it, he worked right up to Oct. 2, that was his last day. He wanted to keep go­ing, he would have kept go­ing. He was go­ing to run again in March.”

Bob Tip­pett was born in Fresno, Calif., in 1940, grad­u­at­ing from San Jose State Univer­sity be­fore com­ing to Yuma to raise his fam­ily in 1970.

He owned three busi­nesses here, in­clud­ing Data IV, an of­fice sup­ply and data-pro­cess­ing busi­ness with Ken Stan­hope, said his other son, Robert Tip­pett of New Mex­ico.

That ven­ture evolved into a com­puter store, and “he was ac­tu­ally the first sales­man of Ap­ple com­put­ers in Ari­zona, back in the early ‘80s,” Robert Tip­pett said.

Both sons re­mem­ber their fa­ther’s big­gest ac­com­plish­ments while a Yuma city of­fi­cial as se­cur­ing the money to up­grade the city’s wa­ter plant and his ef­forts to keep the San Diego Padres in town for their spring train­ing sea­son.

“He was try­ing to keep the Padres in town, and they left dur­ing his may­or­ship,” Robert Tip­pett said.

“He tried very hard to keep them in town and tried to work sev­eral deals. He ac­tu­ally got them to do a two-year ex­ten­sion, to get it worked out, but the Padres ended up leav­ing any­way,” he said.

Cur­rent Yuma Mayor Doug Ni­cholls re­leased a state­ment Thurs­day: “Mayor Tip­pett was known for his civic lead­er­ship, work ethic, and kind­ness. I thank him for his hard work and years of ded­i­ca­tion in Yuma.”

Af­ter his term as mayor, Bob Tip­pett was pres­i­dent of the Greater Yuma Eco­nomic Devel­op­ment Foun­da­tion from 1994-97, which led to jobs with the Part­ner­ship for Eco­nomic Devel­op­ment in Lake Havasu City and the Ari­zona De­part­ment of Com­merce in 2001.

In 2003 he took a job as ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor of Val­ley Vi­sion, a non­profit eco­nomic devel­op­ment agency in Lewis­ton, from which he re­tired in 2010.

Both of his sons are re­mem­ber­ing him with love and ad­mi­ra­tion.

“He taught me the val­ues of hard work­ing, and know­ing the rights and wrongs of life for sure. The man had a lot of char­ac­ter and a lot of charisma, and he taught his kids well. I couldn’t have asked for a bet­ter fa­ther,” Robert Tip­pett said.

Bill Tip­pett said he still owns and runs a com­puter net­work­ing busi­ness his fa­ther started with him back in 1988, af­ter the younger Tip­pett had just grad­u­ated from the Univer­sity of Ari­zona with a creative writ­ing de­gree.

“We were re­ally proud of our fa­ther and all the things he did, and how much he en­joyed that, it was re­ally im­por­tant to him,” Bill Tip­pett said.

Other sur­vivors in­clude his daugh­ter Lisa Tice of Texas, twin brother Richard Tip­pett and sev­eral grand­chil­dren. He will be buried to­day at All Souls Ceme­tery in Cot­ton­wood.

Con­do­lences can be shared at www.buel­er­fu­ner­al­home.com.

FAM­ILY PHOTO

“HE TAUGHT ME THE VAL­UES of hard work­ing, and know­ing the rights and wrongs of life ... The man had a lot of char­ac­ter and a lot of charisma, and he taught his kids well. I couldn’t have asked for a bet­ter fa­ther,” said Robert Tip­pett, son of ex-Yuma mayor Robert “Bob” Tip­pett, who died Sun­day.

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