Mr. Ross Tipton
Former Principal at Dreux from September of 1964-January
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
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.
After returning to the United States, Ross worked as the assistant
superintendent of schools at Camp Lejeune in Jacksonville, North Carolina, until
he retired. He and Helen lived for many years in Maitland, Florida, where
his passion for golf truly flowered. Rarely a day went by without Ross
playing a few rounds or practicing his putting. One of his proudest
moments was hitting a hole in one at Winter Park Golf Course; the trophy still
sits on his shelf. In addition to golf, Ross loved dogs and liked to hunt,
and he also liked cats.
In 2008, Ross and Helen moved to Polk County, North Carolina to be closer to
family. He is survived by his wife, Helen, and his daughter, Mary
Catherine Holcomb of Tryon. He was predeceased by his son, Thomas, of
Tryon in 2011. In addition, he is survived by his grandson, Erik Holcomb
of Tryon, his grandson, Brian Holcomb of East Lansing, Michigan, and his
granddaughter, Christina Hammock and her husband Damion Hammock of Orlando,
Florida, and Rossís great-grandchildren Gregory, Jordan, and Julia Hammock.
He was dearly loved by his family, and will be greatly missed.
A memorial service is planned for 1:00 on Thursday, May 23 at LaurelHurst in
Columbus. Everyone is welcome.
The family wishes to express its gratitude to Hospice of the Carolina
Foothills and its employees and volunteers, especially Dr. Kennerly, Joanie,
Trish, Walker Williams, Mike Clark, and special friend Bill Cline. They
have all been a blessing to us.
Memorials may be made to Hospice of the Carolina Foothills, 260 Fairwinds
Road, Landrum, SC 29356. www.hofc.org.
Condolences may be left at www.pettyfuneralhome.com.