Thursday, August 21, 2008
Isaac Walter Tipton, Sr.
Eight years ago yesterday, my Dad passed away. It is a day that I will never forget. Isaac Walter Tipton, Sr. (4/18/1920 - 8/20/2000)was born near Pigeon Roost, North Carolina. Pigeon Roost is located in the Pisgah Mountains that form the border between western North Carolina and eastern Tennessee. He was the fifth child and son of Fieldon Jacob Tipton (6/4/1884 - 5/8/1939)and Hester Lewis (11/30/1892 - 4/20/1945.) Fieldon and Hester had a total of 12 children, all boys. One child, a twin of Samuel Tipton (3/31/1934-12/15/2001), who died shortly after birth. My Dad's family moved to southeastern Pennsylvania, around 1929, to work on their uncle Donald Byrd's fruit and vegetable farm. Fieldon Tipton's sawmill business in North Carolina was failing and he could not support his every growing family. In Pennsylvania my Dad met my Mother, Betty Louise Hadfield (November 24, 1923), on a double date in Downingtown, Pennsylvania. From that union I was born November 9th, 1941. My parents had two more sons (Isaac Walter Tipton, Jr., April 9, 1943 and John Lee Tipton, June 10, 1944.) My Father was a stern taskmaster who was a dependable provider for his family. I did not have a close relationship with my Father. I was closer to my Mother. My Father was closest to my youngest brother, John. As is usual in the typical sibling setup, the middle child, Isaac, received the least attention. However, we all knew our Father loved us and was proud of us as we were of him. "Pop", as we called him, loved to garden. Even after he was diagnosed with inoperable lung cancer, he still managed to visit his much loved garden in the back of his three acre property in East Brandywine Township. Although my Dad lacked much formal schooling (I never did know how far he went in high school, that information wasn't available in our family), he was a very smart and clever man. He had good street sense. Pop also loved his carpentry work. Interestingly enough, I was the only son who inherited his love of gardening. I did not inherit his woodworking and mechanical skills. However, both of my younger brothers did inherit his woodworking and mechanical skills. But, sad to say, they have no interest in gardening or growing things. Pop was such a major factor in our lives, it still came as a major shock when he died even though we knew he had a terminal illness. He had requested not to be put on a life support system and we honored his wish. When I received word that he had died, I felt like someone punched me in my stomach. I literally had trouble breathing. Pop has been gone eight years now. Every summer at this time I remember that sultry August day that my life changed. Even to this day, there are times that I want to share information with my Dad and I realize I can't. He loved jelly donuts. Whenever I see one I'm tempted to buy some for him. His favorite dessert was German Chocolate Cake. I would always try to make him this cake for his birthday. I haven't made a German Chocolate Cake since he died. However, one thing that will never change are our many memories of him. His practical jokes, his laughter and his love of my Mother. Perhaps the only thing he loved more than my Mother was his favorite dog, Pepper (a black miniature Poodle.) Even though I miss him very much I am comforted by the fact that he has rejoined Pepper and his brothers. Rest in peace Pop.