Lester J. LippyJuly 26, 1922 ~ November 24, 2017 (age 95)
Lester J. Lippy was born in Manchester, MD in 1922, the son of Lester R. and Margarette Lippy. He graduated from Baltimore Polytechnic Institute in 1940. On his 18th birthday, Lester started working for the Glen L. Martin Company as a junior inspector. He joined the Army Air Corps during WWII testing aircraft. At the end of the war, he returned to Martin company where he helped design their first corporate airplane. Lester married Bertha Hedrick in 1953. They had three children, Christine, Timothy and Rebecca (Becky). Les and Bertha enjoyed many years of family life before Bertha died of cancer in 1998.
In 1956, Lester transferred to Denver to be part of an exclusive team that selected the site, and later established, the Martin Marietta Waterton Plant. During his 48 year career with Martin Marietta, he worked on a multitude of diverse projects that took him across the globe including missile development and European solar technology. Most notably, he worked on Martin Marietta’s space projects for NASA, as the director of the Viking Mars vehicle project and the Manned Maneuvering Unit (MMU), an astronaut propulsion device. After a distinguished career, he retired as Vice President of his division on April 1, 1988.
In 1999, while walking his dog, Lester met Elizabeth “Lisa” Sabia. She was painting “plein air” by a local lake, and he stopped to inquire about her progress. They were married on Feb. 12, 2000. Shortly thereafter, Les and Lisa moved to a beautiful home in Genesee Park, CO where they relished mountain living, especially observing the wild animals that moved through their yard. They enjoyed holiday visits from their children and grandchildren and entertaining friends from all over. Les was happy at home reading spy fiction, doing crossword puzzles or joining friends for an occasional game of golf.
During this time Les and Lisa traveled widely, visiting New England, New Zealand, Europe, the Virgin Islands and China among other locales. They frequently hosted out of state visitors and enjoyed showing them the wonders of Colorado and the Southwest.
In 2007, Les and Lisa moved to Littleton, bringing them closer to the amenities of the suburbs. They both enjoyed the theatre and were season ticket holders at the Arvada Center for Performing Arts. They appreciated nice dinners out, museum visits, and hiking. Fall color tours with granddaughter, Sarah, were a highlight of the year.
Lester and Lisa moved to a retirement community, the Meridian Englewood, in 2015. Lester passed away peacefully on Nov. 24, 2017. He will be remembered by his stories of “The Company”, his easy smile, warm and generous nature and his great sense of humor.
Lester is survived by his wife, Elizabeth “Lisa” Sabia; his daughters Christine Trickey and Rebecca Robinson; granddaughter, Sarah Trickey; sister Connie Rigler. He is also survived by his wife’s children, son Frank (Elidia) Sabia; daughters Rebekah (Peter Dybing) Sabia and Jill (Doug) Michener; five grandchildren, many nieces, nephews and cousins. He was preceded in death by his parents; his first wife, Bertha Lippy; son, Timothy Lippy; brothers, Elmer Lippy, Irvin “Ed” Lippy, and Ronnie Lippy; sisters, Betty McComas and Margret Lippy.
An interment was held at Ft. Logan National Cemetery on Dec. 6, 2017. A memorial in honor of his life will be held January 11, 2018, 11:00 a.m. at the Prince of Peace Brethren Church, Littleton, CO. In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made to the Challenger Program for Space Science Education at www.challenger.org .