He was born Nov. 25, 1918 in North Carolina, but grew up in Hymera, Indiana. He graduated from Indiana State University with a bachelor’s degree and lettered as a member of the varsity football team from 1938-40.

He entered the U.S. Navy’s pilot training course and became a naval aviator and fighter pilot in WW II and Korea. After retiring from the Navy in 1962,  he began serving his county in other ways — as an educator.

“He was one of the first teachers I ever had,” a former student said, noting that he was his first grade physical education teacher at Midland. When asked about what kind of person he was, the former student recited this quote from President Teddy Roosevelt –

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better.

The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”

Another quote that came to his mind was from the movie “Tuck Everlasting” in which a character, Angus Tuck, is talking to a character named Winnie. He said, “Don’t be afraid of death, Winnie. Be afraid of the unlived life.”

“He certainly lived life to the fullest,” the former student said.

Math teacher Cindy Thorlton began teaching with him during the 1974-75 school year.

“He was a fine man and was very proud of the fact that even though he grew up in the small town of Hymera, he had such success in his life … a fine military career, a second career as a teacher and being elected as a state senator.”

“He was wonderful to work with. He genuinely cared about his students and fellow faculty members. He was fun-loving and always had a twinkle in his eye. He deeply loved his wife and children. He will be missed.”

Elden Creasy “Tip” Tipton

Tipton, 91, served his country in the Navy, served his state as a senator and county commissioner, and served his community as an educator.


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