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Our mother, Mary Hipp, 92, died peacefully Tuesday, July 17, 2018 at her home, surrounded by her family and under the care of CHI Health at Home Hospice.
A Funeral Mass in her honor will be held at 10:30 a.m. Monday, August 13, 2018 at St. John’s Catholic Church, Wahpeton, ND. Visitation will be one hour prior to the service at the church. Arrangements have been entrusted with Vertin-Munson Funeral Home, Wahpeton.
Our mom was born Mary Margaret Zander on September 9, 1925 in Hankinson, ND to Richard and Regina Zander. The youngest of five girls, she grew up there, graduating from Hankinson High School. After high school, she went to California where she worked as an expediter for McDonnel Douglas Aircraft.
She returned to Hankinson a year later and took a job as a teller at Lincoln State Bank. Her friend, Jean, told Mary that she should meet Jean’s handsome brother, Jerry. The meeting was arranged and on October 9, 1946, Jerry Hipp and Mary Zander were married.
We remember mom as always being happily busy, supporting Dad in his business and raising us four children. Of German heritage, she ran a strict household, taking care of the family finances and demanding the best from us, correcting our grammar and teaching us proper manners. When Mom asked, “Do you want a piece of advice?” It was a mere formality. It didn’t matter if you answered yes or no; you were going to get it anyway. While she mellowed with age, she never stopped parenting, always looking for signs of improvement in her children.
Mom had a tremendous energy. She was always busy cooking or cleaning. She kept a tidy house. She was never idle. Soups were her specialty, and she could make the tastiest soup out of a seemingly empty fridge. Dad especially enjoyed her chocolate chip cookies.
Thank heavens mom loved to wash and iron clothes, because with six of us in the family, it was an endless chore with a wringer washing machine and an outdoor clothesline. With the advent of the automatic washer and dryer, Mom claimed the laundry room as her “woman cave”, adding a TV, a CD player and an exercise bike.
Mom loved music, and we were always surrounded by it - Mantovani and his Orchestra, Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass. We always sang as we traveled in the car. We knew every song on the album “Sing Along with Mitch Miller and the Gang”. If pressed, we could probably still sing those songs today, in the same order that they were arranged on the album.
Mom was athletic. In her 40’s, she played on a softball league with women half her age - fielding the ball and firing to first base with the best of them. She was a great bowler, too, maintaining a 180+ average. Although she never managed a 300 game, she has a collection of bowling trophies that testify to her skills at the sport. Her bowling team went on to National Finals several years.
An avid golfer, Mom hit a hole-in-one not once, but twice. Her first hole-in-one was on Desert Canyon Golf Course in Fountain Hills, AZ, where she also liked to walk along the edge of the course in search of lost golf balls. Mom was a very loyal Budweiser drinker and she attributes her first hole-in-one to the big swig of Budweiser she took, just prior to her tee shot. Her second hole-in-one came a few years later at the Lidgerwood Golf Course. But most of all, she enjoyed playing the Bois de Sioux course with a wonderful group of ladies that she loved to spend time with. Fun was always the order of the day.
She loved to hunt pheasants, ducks and geese, and she was a great shot. You could always tell which pheasants she shot when you cleaned them. All her birds were head shots, while Dad’s birds were breast shots. Or so the legend goes.
Mom liked to play cards. She played a lot of Pinochle with Dad in her later years, savoring the details of some of the closer games. She kept all the scorecards too, and over the years, the stats showed that with hundreds of games played, she and Dad had nearly the same number of wins; apparently they were evenly matched at Pinochle.
Mary is survived by her husband, Jerry Hipp; her four children, Neil (Karen) Hipp, Breckenridge, MN, Carla Olson, Omaha NE, Leann (Jim) Sturges, Roseville, CA, and Mary Dee (Kent) Martinson, Fountain Hills, AZ; 8 grandchildren and 19 great grandchildren.
She was preceded in death by her parents, her four sisters, her first child, Paula Marie, and her grandson, Samuel Sturges.
We had a wonderful relationship with our mother. We will recall our times together and continue to share stories about her. She lives on in our hearts.