John Ogden Lipsey Memorial Fund

John Ogden Lipsey, Junior

John Ogden Lipsey

April 7, 1941 – April 10, 2009
Cottonwood, California



John Ogden Lipsey, Junior, born April 7, 1941 in Ridley Park, Pennsylvania, to his parents John Ogden Lipsey, Senior and Margaret Reed (Dieffenbach) Lipsey, passed away on April 10, 2009.

John Lipsey, Jr. was raised and attended schools in North East, Maryland and the University of Maine. It was at the University that John discovered his passion for the sport of track and field, joining the team as an NCAA athlete and majoring in Geology. He graduated in 1964. After graduation, he moved to Knoxville, Tennessee, and enrolled in the University of Tennessee where he did graduate work in Mathematics and served as an Assistant Coach on the track and field team.

As an adult, John Lipsey first worked for DuPont in Old Hickory, Tennessee in the construction field. During a visit with a childhood friend on the Olympic peninsula, he fell in love with the woods of Washington state and rural life. He hurried to move far to the west and a life in the lumber industry in Aberdeen, Washington in 1966. It was there that he met and fell in love with his future wife, Sandra Sue Boyd, and the two were married in 1969. Their union gave them two children, Chris and Curtis Lipsey.

Through thick and thin, in a career that spanned the western states of Michigan, New Mexico and finally settling in Northern California, John Lipsey, Jr. lived and loved life. He retired from the industry, but not the woods, in 1997 after 31 years of a career he enjoyed. Finished with work, he found the time to revisit and renew his fiery love for track and field. He spent his retirement as a mentor for the Plus One program and a track coach to young students in the Cottonwood area, engineering a training regimen that carried him, and a cadre of young charges, into the hills and the woods he loved. John Lipsey volunteered as a coach for the Cottonwood Junior High team and then as an independent coach for any young athlete who came to him with a love of distance running, guiding many of his runners to the Junior Olympic National Championships. John also became a National Track and Field official in 1997, officiating NCAA events and Olympic qualifiers. He earned NCAA and USATF recognition for his work in the pole vault event.

John Lipsey epitomized the life of a philosopher-coach, pushing his family, his children, his athletes and his peers to be the very best they could be, and in all areas of life. His beliefs, his teachings and his admonitions inspired passionate debate, personal responsibility and integrity throughout his entire life, and in every endeavor.

John Lipsey is survived by his wife of 40 years, Sandy Lipsey; by his sons, Chris Lipsey and his wife, Wanda, Curtis Lipsey and his wife, Lynn; by his siblings, Ted Lipsey and wife, Barbara, sister, Jean Rea and her husband, Jerry; by his two grandchildren, Kenna and Cuinn; by friends and fellows; and by a score of young runners. All of the above made him so very proud and inspired his life, his pursuits and his passions every day.

In lieu of flowers, the Lipsey family has designated Type 1 diabetes research at Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute for memorial funds as both of John’s sons- Chris and Curtis- endure life with Type 1 diabetes. To make a donation to honor John Ogden Lipsey, please click here:

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