When Jim Lippert was in high school, the student body at Wyoming would often chant his name, begging the coach to put him in the game.
He wasn’t the best player on the team ― his brother Steve Lippert said he had a lot of “bench time” ― but Jim had his fans. And actually, it was a fan club that had grown to 450 members strong more than four decades after he graduated. Steve isn’t sure about the origin of the fan club, but he suspects it had to do something with his exuberant and extroverted personality.
Jim Lippert, the sales manager of the 116-year-old Hamilton Caster owned by his family, died on Aug. 11 at his home in Wyoming. He was 62.
“He just had an amazing personality and made you feel important when he’s talking to you,” said Steve, adding his brother embraced the Jim Lippert Fan Club so much that his license plate was JLFC.
His personality probably was why he entered sales at Hamilton Caster in 1990 and was vice president of sales (though he started in the family business when still in high school). He had plans to retire in three years, his brother said.
“He was so good with customers,” Steve said.
Jim Lippert was born on Feb. 3, 1961, to the parents of Mary and Bob Lippert. He reveled in his 39th place in the national spelling bee as an 8th grader in 1975. Jim graduated from Wyoming High School in 1979 and the University of Michigan in 1983.
He served 7-1/2 years as an Army field artillery officer and was awarded the Meritorious Service Medal and Army Commendation Medal. He was involved in his hometown community, having served on the Wyoming Booster board, coached his three sons’ baseball and basketball teams, and been named in 2003 the Wyoming Citizen of the Year for his leadership.
Jim was also very much a man of faith, as he was involved in two Wyoming churches. He was a lifelong member of St. James of the Valley and served as a reader, lector, and eucharistic minister. He was also involved at Friendship United Methodist Church where his booming bass vocals filled the building.
Jim is survived by his wife of 40 years, Carrie, his children Christopher (Tarra) Lippert, John (Kelly) Lippert, Patrick (Ashley) Lippert, and Marie Lippert (and fiancé Keegan Hodge); and his siblings, Dave (Teresa) Lippert, Steve (Joan) Lippert, Debbie Bellman, Jennie (Tom) Ruehlmann, and Mike (Molly) Lippert; as well as his five grandchildren and many nephews and nieces.
A visitation and celebration of life was held on Friday at Friendship United Methodist Church in Wyoming. A full requiem mass service is scheduled for today at St. James of the Valley Catholic Church in Wyoming. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to St. James of the Valley Catholic Church in Wyoming in Jim Lippert’s memory.