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Celebrating the Life of William C. “Chick” Gipp
In the early morning hours on Thursday, September 19th, 2019 our dear brother, uncle and friend peacefully went home to be with the Lord at the age of 78 at Sunset Drive, Prospera in Mandan, North Dakota.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 11:00 AM on Thursday, September 26, 2019 at St. Peter Catholic Church, Fort Yates, ND with Monsignor Chad Gion as celebrant. Burial will be held at the North Dakota Veterans Cemetery.
Visitation will be held Wednesday, September 25, 2019, from 5:00 - 8:00 PM at St. Peter Catholic Church, with a Rosary/Parish Vigil at 7 PM. Visitation will continue at the church one hour prior to the service on Thursday.
Chick was born on November 11th, 1940 to William Lewis “Louis” and Mary Jane (Silk) Gipp in Fort Yates, North Dakota. Upon Dads return home from WWII. It was then that the family of four moved to Shields, ND for a few years, returning to Fort Yates so that Chick could start elementary school.
From a young age Chick had a true appreciation of the outdoors. It was to no surprise to all who knew him that he would start Indian dancing as a young boy and compete in local grass dance contests. Life for Chick was one adventure after another.
Freshman year meant life would take Chick to the Southeast corner of South Dakota. It was here that he would complete two years at Marty Indian School before returning to Fort Yates for his last two years of high school graduating in 1959.
Chick spent that summer in Minneapolis at a Military Preparatory School. He was appointed to West Point by Sen. “Wild Bill” Langer, however due to heart issues was not accepted. Chick then attended the University of North Dakota for one year. Soon the U.S. found itself in a serious conflict in Southeast Asia. His decision was to enlist in the U.S. Army and Chick was stationed at Fort Bragg, NC as part of the 5th Special Forces Group.
Sergeant, US Army (1962-66); 1st Special Forces Group (Airborne); MOS: Light & Heavy Weapons/ Communications Specialist; Okinawa/ Vietnam (1964-65); Liberators of Oppressed “Special Forces” 2-11-63 to 1-5-66
In 1966 Chick received his BA from Black Hills State, Spearfish, SD. Going on to receive his Masters at NSC in Aberdeen. Working for three different SD governors, he served as the Director of Economic Development. Followed next by his career with the BIA where he served as the Agency Superintendent for reservations in ND, SD and MT. His final post with the BIA would be back in Aberdeen as an Assistant Area Director. Retirement would include a move to Bismarck and a seat on the ND Pardons and Parole Board for over 10 years.
Throughout his childhood there wasn’t a sport he didn’t play or an activity he wasn’t involved in. Being physically fit was something that Chick would continue to take pride in throughout his life. An avid Green Bay Packer fan, he would travel to games often. One of his favorite outdoor activities was golf or in some cases coaching himself on the course.
He would often say, “I am not good but I love it”. A game he knew he could play his whole life and that he did. A regular on courses throughout the area and almost always attending events like United Tribes Annual Golf Tournament.
Known more as an introvert- To know Chick was to immediately be captivated by his charm and in awe of his personality. His smile was passed along to everyone within an earshot via joke. Chick had an extra special way with people. Quick witted but never crude; he was a loyal friend, lived life, maintained his faith, and it showed in every thing he did.
Left behind to remember him sister, Thelma “Sissy” (Duane) Claymore of McLaughlin, SD; his two nephews, Troy (Dawn) Claymore of Rapid City, SD, Shawn (Stephanie) Claymore of McLaughlin, SD; niece, Lynn “Casey” (Ray Maxon) Dietrich of McLaughlin, SD. Multiple great nieces and nephews, cousins, friends and many special loved ones not only in Bismarck/ Mandan but across the country.
Proceed in Death by his parents, William Lewis “Louie” and Mary Jane (Silk) Gipp. Grandparents, Albert Gipp; Josephine (Zahn) Pleets; Jesse Pleets; Jack and Bridget (Halsey) Silk. Three half siblings, Albert (Buddy) Gipp; Frankie Gipp; and Josephine (Lara Jo Buffaloboy) Pleets. His nephew Clay Claymore; uncle, Frances Gipp; and Aunt Christine (Gipp) Nelson
Special mention to:
* Pall Bearers: Roger and Billy Condon; James Molash; Sandy Luger; Shawn Claymore; Dawson Gipp; and LeLewis Gipp.
* Honorary Pall Bearers: Robert Dave and Jerry Gipp; Adrian Crow Feather; Paul Lawrence; Punky Haas; Karen Gayton; Shirley Poitra; Lorretta Gray Day; Lucy Hughes; All of his golfing buddies, staff at the Bismarck Cancer Center, staff at Sanford Oncology; staff at Sunset Drive Prospera Community; and last but certainly not least to all of the staff and members of the Bismarck Health Center.
A special thank you to any and all who continue to send their thoughts and prayers with us. We know our brother and uncle was loved by many and welcome the stories you are willing to share.