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‘Chick’ Gipp lived a full life

In the early morning hours on Thursday, Sept. 19, 2019, our dear brother, uncle and friend peacefully went home to be with Lord at the age of 78 at Sunset Drive-Prospera in Mandan, N.D.
Mass of Christian Burial was held on Thursday, Sept. 26, 2019, at St. Peter Catholic Church in Ft. Yates, N.D., with Monsignor Chad Gion as celebrant.
Burial was in the North Dakota Veterans Cemetery, rural Mandan.
William C. “Chick” Gipp was born on Nov. 11, 1940, to William Lewis “Louie” and Mary Jane (Silk) Gipp in Ft. Yates. When his dad returned home from WWII, the family of four moved to Shields, N.D., for a few years, returning to Ft. Yates so that Chick could start elementary school.
From a young age, Chick had a true appreciation of the outdoors. It was no surprise at all 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 Ft. Yates for his last two years of high school, graduating in 1959.
Chick spent the summer in Minneapolis, Minn., at a military prep school. He was appointed to West Point by Sen. “Wild Bill” Langer, however due to heart issues, he 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. Chick was stationed at Ft. Bragg, N.C., as part of the 5th Special Forces Group; Sergeant US Army (1962-66); 1st Special Forces Group (Airborne); MOS: Light and Heavy Weapons/Communications Specialist; Okinawa/Vietnam (1964-65); Liberators of Oppressed “Special Forces,” Feb. 11, 1963, to Jan. 5, 1966.
In 1966, Chick received his BA from Black Hills State in Spearfish, going on to receive his masters’ at Northern State College in Aberdeen.
Working for three different South Dakota governors, he served as the Director of Economic Development. It was followed next by his career with the BIA where he served as the Agency Supervisor for reservations in North Dakota, South Dakota and Montana. His final post with the BIA would be back in Aberdeen as an Assistant Area Director. Retirement would include a move to Bismarck, N.D., and a seat on the North Dakota Pardons and Parole Board for more than 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 Packers 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.” It was a game he could play his entire life and that he did. He was a regular on courses throughout the area and almost always attended events like the United Tribes Annual Golf Tournament.
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. He was quick-witted but never crude. He was a loyal friend, lived life, maintained his faith, and showed it in everything he did.
Left behind to remember him are his sister, Thelma “Sissy” (Duane) Claymore of McLaughlin; his two nephews, Troy (Dawn) Claymore of Rapid City, and Shawn (Stephanie) Claymore of McLaughlin; niece, Lynn “Casey” (Ray Maxon) Dietrich of McLaughlin; multiple great-nieces and nephews, cousins, friends and many special loved ones, not only in Bismarck/Mandan, but across the country.
He was preceded in death by his parents, William Lewis “Louie” and Mary Jane (Silk) Gipp; grandparents, Albert Gipp, Josephine (Zahn) Pleets, Jesse Pleets, and 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 pallbearers Roger and Billy Condon, James Molash, Sandy Luger, Shawn Claymore, Dawson Gipp and LeLewis Gipp, and honorary pallbearers, Robert, Dave and Jerry Gipp, Adrian Crow Feather, Paul Lawrence, Punky Haas, Karen Gayton, Shirley Poitra, Loretta Gray Day, Lucy Hughes, all of his golfing buddies, staff at Bismarck Cancer Center, staff at Sanford Oncology, staff at Sunset Drive-Prospera Community, and last, but certainly not least, to all the staff and members of 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 stories you are willing to share.
Weigel Funeral and Cremation Services of Mandan was in charge of the arrangements.