Jumped the Synapse: Thoughts without sponsors!

These are my thoughts that don't fit in my other blogs. They'll eventually cover a large range of topics.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Obituary: Elizabeth Tippie


TIPPIE. Elizabeth Tippie. Born January 1, 1920, Krasnoufimsk, Russia. Died January 25, 2007, Red Deer, Canada.

Passed away at the Red Deer Hospice.

Predeceased by her beloved husband, Lawrence, in June 2003.

She will be forever missed by daughters, Marne (Thorsten), Sharon (Ralph), Carol (Steve) and Kathy; son, Fred (Bridget) as well as 11 grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren.

Elizabeth Tippie (nee Bruckel) was born of Estonian parents, Friederich J. and Maria on January 1, 1920 in the village of Krasnoufimsk deep in the Ural Mountains of Russia. After living in Tallinn, Estonia for three years, mother and daughter (Elizabeth) scouted out Sydney, Australia as a place to escape Russia’s expansionist communist regime, as her father (a local and respected manager) was being increasingly pressured to join the communist party. However, not quite satisfied with Australia, they returned to Estonia and subsequently made plans to escape to Canada, arriving in western Canada in 1929 on the eve of the Great Depression.

By this time, however, Elizabeth’s worldly travels now meant that she was conversant in three languages; Russian, Estonian, and English.

As a young girl, Elizabeth retained many interesting memories of Berlin, London, Gibraltar, Naples, Port Said, Colombo as well as the long train journey across Canada from Halifax to Big Valley, Alberta. Some of her childhood was spent in the Linda Hall-Fenn District before moving to Stettler where she graduated from high school.

In 1939 she married Lawrence, sharing delight in the radio jazz broadcasts of the day. She spent all but three of the next twenty-five years on the Stettler farm (during World War Two she and her family moved to Portland, Oregon). On the farm is where her hopeful heart and willing hands met much hard work but oh, the joy of golden loaves of bread, aprons full of fresh peas, and quarts of sweet, purple saskatoons she wrought.

In 1964, Lawrence and Elizabeth moved off the farm into Red Deer, and she went to work at the Michener Center helping the mentally handicapped. She graduated with an Alberta Mental Deficiency Nursing Degree in 1967 and found her work fulfilling until her retirement in 1984. She had made many friends at Michener. The "Tamarack" girls formed a supper club and stayed close to this day.

She then volunteered her time and skills to the Parkland School, Kiwanis Music Festival, Heart and Stroke Foundation, Pines Lodge, and ARPES.

She and Lawrence travelled widely in Canada, the United States, Mexico, Australia, and Europe (including Estonia in 1987). In 2001, Victoria Park became her home and new friendships were formed.

An ever-stalwart Canadian patriot, Elizabeth held a life-long interest in all things Estonian receiving an Estonia language newspaper late into her life. Thoughtful and well read, she was an avid student and brilliant analyst of changing world politics.

A merciful and understanding heart made her always a champion of common people. With a ready smile, easy laugh, and bright mind, she was good at conversation and her warm, engaging, company will be missed. Her playful nature could make grocery shopping an exciting adventure and washing a kitchen floor real fun!

The happy memories Elizabeth leaves behind her for the family of which she was so proud are beyond count.

Elizabeth loved singing, playing classical piano, the comedy of Billy Crystal and Jonathan Winters, the political leanings and acumen of Pierre Trudeau and Bill Clinton, East Indian authors and Billie Holiday. She died after a long and difficult battle with breast cancer. She is irreplaceable.