By HDN Staff
RICHARD "DICK" SIPES
FROMBERG -- Richard Ira "Dick" Sipes, 78, died Sunday, Dec. 26, 1999, at his residence of heart failure.
Memorial services will be held 11 a.m. Thursday in the United Methodist Church in Fromberg. A luncheon will follow at the Catholic Hall.
Sipes was born July 13, 1921, in Paradise, to Mary Adeline and Jonathan Robert Sipes. He grew up on the family farm at Camas Prairie, attending school in Hot Springs. After graduating from high school he attended Western Montana College until WWII. He was inducted into the Army in Oct. of 1942, and served as a Staff Sergeant in the 33rd Infantry Division. He served in New Guinea, Luzon and the Western Pacific. As an Army Ranger and Squad Leader, he was injured in battle but refused the Purple Heart when an officer with a scraped finger stood in line to receive one also. He earned a Bronze Star while helping liberate the Philippines from the occupying Japanese forces. Upon his return from WWII, he attended Montana State College in Bozeman.
On July 3, 1954, he married Lola Hutchison in Missoula. The couple were parents of over 50 foster children and several foreign exchange students throughout their married life. They ran a restaurant in Boulder, Colo. for four years. They returned to Stevensville in 1962, where he worked as an independent carpenter and contractor.
Sipes was actively involved as a Scout Master, Hunter Safety instructor, and in several clubs and organizations. In 1977, he was elected to the Town Council in Stevensville serving as Councilman for two years before being appointed Mayor in 1979. He resigned from that position in 1993 after 14 years of service to move to Fromberg to be closer to his family. He was involved in the Senior Citizens and the United Methodist Church in Fromberg. He enjoyed exploring Montana, Elder Hostel excursions, dancing, hunting, rock collecting, practical jokes, and cavorting with family and friends and his Chihuahua.
He was preceded in death by two sons, Richard and Roy and 11 siblings.
Survivors include his wife, Lola of Fromberg; daughters, Donna Byrne of Hamilton, Linda Blatter of Havre, Kathy Kline of Shepherd, Elaine Parsons of Billings, and Lisa Springer of Kremlin; sons, Allan Sipes of Wilsall and Jeff Sipes of Sumner, Wash.; a brother, Walter Sipes of Fromberg; a sister, Dotte Thorbergson of East Helena; 23 grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.
Cremation is being handled by Cremation or Funeral Gallery of Billings.