William M. Gipp Jr.

William M. Gipp Jr.

VOORHEESVILLE — William M. Gipp Jr., who was known to his friends and family as Bill, was remembered this week as “stern but loving” by his son Wayne Gipp. Mr. Gipp died on Monday, July 31, 2017. He was 97.

Born in Westmere on Sept. 17, 1919, Mr. Gipp was the son of the late William Gipp Sr. and Mary E. Keil. His paternal ancestors immigrated from Baden Germany in the early 1850s and established a farm soon afterward on what is now Gipp Road in Westmere, his family wrote in a tribute. Mr. Gipp was the fourth generation of the family to farm in the area, continuing until the land was sold for the construction of Crossgates Mall.

In 1956, he diversified his farming to include not only swine but also cattle and crops by purchasing a 160-acre farm in Voorheesville. “Bill was a dedicated and proud farmer and was active in agricultural organizations such as the Farm Bureau and SCS,” his family wrote of the Seed Conservation Service, now the Natural Resources Conservation Service.

At the time of his retirement about 15 years ago, farm operations were scaled back to mostly growing hay, his son said. Mr. Gipp lived on the farm until his death.

In his spare time, Mr. Gipp enjoyed hunting, particularly in his younger years, as well as fresh and saltwater fishing. He was a founding member of the Voorheesville Rod and Gun Club. During his retirement, he enjoyed national and international cruises, tours and activities with the Guilderland Senior Center, and camping in his recreational vehicle as a member and officer in the local chapter of the Good Sam RV Club. “They had a Samboree RV rally at the farm every year after he retired,” his son recalled.

Mr. Gipp had wanted just a small celebration of his life with close family. But the gathering held at the farm on Saturday, Aug. 5, Wayne Gipp said, grew to about 75 or 80 relatives and friends, many of whom stayed overnight in tents or RVs. “That’s just the type of thing he enjoyed,” his son said.

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William M. Gipp is survived by his wife, Dorothy (née McKenna) Gipp.

He is also survived by his sons, Milton and his wife, Ann; William; Wayne and his wife, Linda; Richard and his wife, Lynne; Robert and his wife, Marion; Michael and his wife, Eileen; Frederick and his wife, Doreen; Peter and his partner, Pam Nolett; and by his daughters, Ruth Ellen Markus and her husband, Frank; Margaret Wilcox and her husband, Ray; Mary Galea; Nancy Nolan; Susan Rowland and her husband, William; and by his daughter in-law, Donna Gipp.

He is also survived by his stepchildren, John McKenna and his wife, Colleen, and Dorothy Pickett and her husband, Francis.

He is survived, too, by 27 grandchildren, 23 great-grandchildren, and one great great grandchild.

His first wife and the mother of his children, Ruth Dolder Gipp, died before him, in 1994. One son, George, died before him.

Burial at Mt. Pleasant Cemetery and a memorial celebration at the Gipp farm of Mr. Gipp’s long life were held on Aug. 5.

The family offers thanks to the Hospice Inn at St. Peter’s Hospital for providing dignity and comfort in Mr. Gipp’s last hours.

Memorial contributions may be made to Community Hospice Fund, 310 South Manning Blvd., Albany, New York 12208.

— Elizabeth Floyd Mair

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