Donald "Biden" Garth Tippett passed away peacefully at the age of 93 at Wallowa Memorial Hospital on April 11, 2019.
He was born March 20,1926 in Lewiston, Idaho to James Harrison (Jidge) and Jessie L (Wilson) Tippett. He was the fifth of six Children. He was raised on his father's ranch in the steep and rugged canyon's on Joseph Creek in the Southwest corner of Asotin County, Washington.
He attended the first through eighth grades at the one room Joseph Creek School House. He boarded out while attending High School, going home to work on the Ranch on the weekends. He played Football. He participated in Track and Cross Country. He graduated from Charles Francis Adams High School May 25,1944.
He entered into Active Service in the US Navy, July 20,1944. He was honorably discharged June 7,1946. He served on the USS Gallatin in the Pacific Theater. His Awards were the Asiatic -Pacific Area Campaign Medal, American Campaign Medal, World War II Victory Medal and the Phillippine Liberation Medal. While in the Navy he was on their Cross Country Track Team.
After being honorably discharged from the Service, he returned to work on the family Ranch on Joseph Creek. When he came home from WWII, his parents had a plan that they gave him a dollar for every dollar he saved and sent home while in the Service. As he began ranching he had about 20 head of his own cows, which he could keep on the ranch without charge. In 1947 the family formed a partnership where he and his brothers received half the calf crop in exchange for doing the work and taking care of the cattle. The partnership included his father JH Midge" Tippett and brothers Jack, Bob, Doug and brother-in-law Don Fouste. He met his future Wife Betty Charlott Heasty at a dance held in the old Edelwiess Building at the head of Wallowa Lake. They were married June 12, 1948 at the Community Church in Enterprise. He took his new bride and moved to the Jim Creek Ranch on the Snake River in Hells Canyon in the Northeast Corner of Wallowa County, Oregon. They rode in by horseback since there wasn't a road into the ranch at that time. The road wasn't built until the winter of 1951-52. In 1958 they contracted to buy the Ranch from his parents. They took their share of the cattle and left the Partnership and went out on their own. They lived there for 44 years. He also ran Cattle on the USFS Cold Springs and Wild Horse Allotments in Wallowa County. The Teepee Butte Fire in 1988 forced him out of the canyons he loved so much and was the beginning of the end of that way of life in the canyons. The Jim Creek Ranch was sold to the USFS in 1992. The rest of the Ranch also included deeded pasture land in the Zumwalt country and farm and pasture land in the Wallowa Valley near Enterprise.
His Daughter Donna Kay was born in 1949 and his Son StevenTracy "Casey" in 1952. He and his wife Betty purchased a house on South River Street in Enterprise, Oregon in the Fall of 1957 where he lived until November of 2017 when he moved to Alpine House Assisted Living in Joseph, Oregon.
Biden was honest, reliable and a peacemaker. He said many times that "it wasn't every man who could take his hobby and spend his life doing what he loved." He was blessed to be able to live out his life doing exactly that. He loved ranching and he was a good steward of his cattle and land and treated them with respect. He lived and breathed ranching. To sum it up, ranching was his passion, hobby, and life. Over the years he came to be respected by his peers and those in the cattle industry and local community.
A few of his accomplishments were: Labor Days Feeder Chairman-1958, Member of the Wallowa County Stock Growers, President of the Wallowa County Stock Growers 1961-1962, Cattleman of the Year-1962,
Grassman of the year-1973, Served on the Board of Directors for the Northwest Livestock Production Credit Association (PCA)-1973-1985, Served on the Board of the Federal Land Bank-1977-1986, was a member of the Lewiston, Idaho Lodge No. 896, B.P.O. Elks 1948-1960 and the Enperprise Oregon Lodge No. 1829, B.P.O. Elks 1960-2019, Grand Marshall of Hells Canyon Mule Days-2010.
In 1977 he, Betty and his son Steven Tracy "Casey" Tippett formed a partnership, Tippett Ranch Inc. and Tippett Cattle Company. He retired at the age of 85 in 2010. His son Casey continued to run the ranch from then on. Then in 2014 the Zumwalt land was sold.
He was preceded in death by his Parents J.H. Jidge and Jessie Tippett; Wife Betty of 65 years; Brothers, Bob, Jack and Doug Tippett; Sisters, Betty J. Fouste and
Barbara Fredrick; Brother-in-Laws Don Fouste, Lee Wiggins, Arnold Fredrick, and Mitch Heasty; Sister-in-Laws Patricia Tippett, Dora Heasty, and Claudine Willis; Neice Joan Fouste; and Nephew Erv Tippett. He is Survived by his Daughter Donna (Wayne) Bronson, Son Tracy "Casey" (Kim) Tippett; Sister-in- Laws Blanche Tippett, Janet (Jim) Uhler, Janie Tippett; Grandsons Clayton (Lisa) Bronson, Grady (Brandy) Bronson and Quintin Bronson, Crystal Bronson; Great Grandchildren Charlie, Ella, Barrett, Madysen, Delaney and Sorrin and Baby Bronson on the way; as well as numerous Nephews and Nieces; and Bob Rush and all of his many dear friends that visited him regularly while he was in the hospital and at Alpine House. In September of 2018 he accepted Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior. We are comforted to know he is at rest and home with his Lord.
Memorial Services will be held Saturday, May 18 at the First Baptist Church in Enterprise at 11 a.m. with a dinner to follow.Memorial Contributions may be made to the Wallowa Memorial HospitalFoundation, and Alpine House Assisted Living.