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Mr. Joseph Gregory Lipple
Chief Petty Officer E-7
Branch of Service:
City: Ashville
State: Pennsylvania
County: Cambria
Honored By:
The children of Joe and Mary Lipple – Tom, Lois, Catherine, Dan, Donald, Richard, MaryAnn, John, Cynthia, Jean, Joan, Jane
Military Service:

Joseph G. Lipple
1/31/1924 to 12/1/2019
A Veteran, A Father, A Renaissance Man

Growing up during the economic depression of the 1930s helped Joe decide to join the Navy at age 17. Besides, his two older brothers, John and Paul had done the same thing. In fact, after boot camp and additional stateside training, Joe was on a ship sailing to Pearl Harbor for a Christmas reunion with his brothers in December 1941.

That reunion never happened. His brother, John Lipple, was on the USS Arizona and perished in the bombing of Pearl Harbor. His brother Paul was on the USS Reid and saw extensive action in the attack but survived.  Joe arrived several days later and as his ship sailed into Pearl Harbor, he often retold the story by saying “You could hear a pin drop, it was so quiet”.

During WWII, Joe served throughout the Pacific theater and in Australia. He was a steamfitter and welder and provided maintenance to submarines and battleships to keep them in action to fight in the war. Joe survived WWII and was discharged from the Navy in 1947.

Joe, it seemed, liked to follow in his brothers’ footsteps, in service to his county, and in marriage. He married Mary Holmberg, the sister of Paul’s wife, Violet, who arranged the introduction. Joe and Mary were parents to 12 children and took on the challenge of raising their children in stride. Mary sadly passed during childbirth on February 14, 1960.  Joe worked the 3rd shift to help get the kids off to school in the morning and sleep during the day while they were at school.

Joe also made time to give back to veterans and his community. He was the Commander of the John Lipple VFW post in Ashville (named after his brother) and the District Commander. He participated in the Memorial Day activities at the Ashville VFW which included a parade, ceremonies at grave sites, and an Army vs. Navy softball game. He also found time to be a volunteer fireman, where he drove the fire truck and emergency ambulance, and for over 30 years, “called the numbers “ at the bingo held by the fire company.  He also used his welding skills for community projects, such as building the backstop for the ball field and welding the posts for the fence around the community swimming pool

Joe was a continuous learner and became accomplished in whatever he did. He was an excellent marksman and won many shooting contests. He always got a deer on the first day of deer season. He was a craftsman and carved gun stocks. Joe was a true Renaissance man. He took up golf and started to ride motorcycles later in life and enjoyed those pastimes when he retired. Golfing and riding motorcycles allowed him to spend time with his sons. They made several trips out west, including a trip up Pikes Peak in Colorado. Joe continued riding motorcycles with the “Older than Hells Angels “ until age 92.

Joe Lipple was the primary source of information and played a large role in a documentary made on the life of his brother, John Lipple, who was one of the 1,177 sailors who died aboard the USS Arizona on December 7, 1941. Click here for more information on “Local Heroes”, a documentary about John Lipple and Michael Strank.

Joe played a major role in providing the history and commentary for this documentary and preserving the history of those of the “Greatest Generation”.  Joe died at the age of 95, and ironically, was buried on “Pearl Harbor Day, December 7, 2019.

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