Ex-Yuma Mayor Tippett remembered for his kindness, leadership, strong work ethic
78-year-old dies of pancreatic cancer on Sunday
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.
“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.