William Howard “Pip” Pippenger passed away the morning of August 17, 2022, at the VA Medical Center in Minneapolis, MN, following a brief, but serious battle with cancer and later a stroke.
Born on September 06, 1942, in Hinsdale, IL, to Howard and Gladys Pippenger, he joined sisters Doris and Karen and later moved with his parents to Phillips, WI, where they owned and operated the Lakeview Pharmacy until 1973.
Pip graduated from Phillips High School in 1960. While there he was active in baseball, basketball, Pep Club, Letterman’s Club, plays, and choir. His senior year he was voted “most courteous” by his classmates and dreamt of becoming a veterinarian.
Following high school he attended the University of Wisconsin – River Falls where he graduated in 1965 with a degree in music education. While there he was active in MENC, concert choir, men’s chorus, and madrigal productions.
In December of 1966 Pip entered the United States Air Force an Aircraft Armament Systems Technician (aka 462) and received an early retirement in December 1986 less than one month before his 20th anniversary due to health concerns with his father.
During his 20 years in Air Force blue Pip spent many years overseas including 5 tours in Vietnam and several others in Korea, Germany, and England. In addition to other ribbons, awards, and recognition he received the following medals:
USAF Meritorious Service Medal
USAF Commendation Medal with 2 bronze oak leaf clusters
USAF Achievement Medal
USAF Good Conduct Medal with 5 bronze oak leaf clusters
National Defense Service Medal
Vietnam Service Medal with 4 bronze service stars
Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal
Republic of Vietnam Gallantry Cross with Palm
Following retirement from the USAF in 1986 Pip returned to UWRF to further his education in order to begin a second career as owner/operator of Flambeau Piano Service. He tuned hundreds of pianos all over northern Wisconsin, as well as parts of Minnesota and Michigan for many years before deciding to retire for a second time.
Pip loved everything about the northwoods. His home. His friends. And especially his “hummers” that ate him out of house and home continuously. He loved his other wild neighbors as well, even though he complained when they stole the feed from his birds.
He is survived by one sister, Doris Ely (Chuck deceased) of Excelsior, MN as well as two nieces and three nephews. He is predeceased by his parents, Howard and Gladys, and one sister, Karen Jones (Roy also deceased). Pip was a true ladies man, but he never married.
He will be greatly missed by family, friends, and his hummers.
To respect his wishes there will be not be a funeral or formal gathering. His ashes will be spread across his beloved Lugerville home and property by family at a later date.