CLOVIS, New Mexico —
On the afternoon of July 20, 2013, Chuck Tipton passed away at Clovis Nursing and Rehab in Clovis, NM, after a hard-fought battle against brain cancer and infection. Chuck was surrounded by friends and family who prayed and sang as he was taken home. He was 52.
Charles Lee Tipton was born October 3, 1960, in Big Spring, Texas, to Billy K. and Stella Tipton, where Billy was stationed. During Chuck’s early years the family lived on several different US bases and in Melrose when his father was overseas. While in junior high, the family settled in Clovis permanently when Chuck’s father retired from the air force.
Chuck graduated from Clovis High School and ENMU, where he was a member of Sinfonia fraternity and the Swanee Singers. After teaching one year in Post, Texas, while waiting for an opening in Clovis Schools, Chuck was hired to teach choir at Yucca Junior High. Even while in Post, Chuck routinely traveled back to Clovis to choreograph for the high school pop choir. When Mesa Elementary opened in the early 1990s, Chuck joined the staff as the music teacher. It was here, with the enthusiastic support of principal Jan Cox, that Chuck began his tradition of student musicals, including Fiddler on the Roof, The Mikado, and everyone’s all-time favorite Annie Junior. In 2002, Chuck moved to the high school at the request of the superintendent. While there, students performed Oklahoma! In 2004, Chuck left the schools to work full-time at Central Baptist Church. He returned to the schools as a volunteer and directed Fiddler on the Roof in 2007 and Dolly in 2010. Anyone who has seen one of his musicals remembers the amazement they felt when realizing that these are students and this was just a school play.
One simply cannot list all professional and volunteer work Chuck performed. From judging solo and ensemble contests throughout the region and the state, providing sound for community events, and to leading academic pep rallies at schools, Chuck was very involved in the schools and the community. Chuck received many awards but two of the most special include a special volunteer award from the Clovis School Board and was designated to receive the Hero of the Year award by Rotary Clubs of Clovis at their annual district convention in the Spring of 2013.
Chuck has always been a servant. During his entire teaching career, Chuck worked supply as interim for churches seeking youth or music pastors. Sometimes those interims lasted several years. He worked in Baptist churches in Melrose, Dora, Texico, and Clovis. After joining the staff at Central Baptist Church, he worked as Christian Education Director, Worship Leader, and Children’s Pastor. Then he settled into a job created just for him, Director of Media.
He is survived by his wife of 25 years, Suzie Cotton Tipton, his son Andrew Tipton of Clovis, NM, and two daughters Savannah Tipton of Clovis, NM and Kimberly (Shannon) Wood of Cheyenne, WY, his granddaughters, Gabrianna and Genevieve Wood of Cheyenne, WY. His mother, Stella Parker of Clovis, NM, sister Peggy (Harvey) Brady of Clovis, NM, and two step-sisters: Trisha (Rusty) McKee of Artesia, NM and Becky (Eddie) LaRue of Artesia, NM.
He is preceded in death by his father, Billy Tipton, step-father Hershel Parker, and grandparents J.A. and Elizabeth Morrow of Ranchvale, NM.
Everyone should have as many friends and supporters as Chuck. As he was passing, a huge rally and fundraiser was being held just across the street with hundreds were in attendance. We cannot possibly list all who have been so important in supporting us during this difficult time. We deeply appreciate the nurses and aides at Clovis Nursing and Rehab who where true angels of mercy to Chuck. They laughed and cried with us, and loved Chuck like family. We so appreciate the friends who surrounded us during his illness at his passing. The many prayers offered up to our loving Father on his behalf by people, literally all over the world, will never be forgotten.
Our pastor described Chuck best. Pastor Alan said no one said, “No problem,” more than Chuck when asked to do something. No matter how difficult or time consuming – No problem.
The family will receive friends on Tuesday, July 23, 2013 and Wednesday July 24, 2013 from 5:00 p.m. until 8:00 p.m. at Steed-Todd Funeral Home in Clovis, New Mexico.
Funeral services are at 2:00 p.m. on Thursday, July 25, 2013 at Central Baptist Church in Clovis, New Mexico with Pastor Alan McAlister, Pastor Mike Adams, Pastor Derek Osburn and Pastor Mike Martindale officiating. A Memorial service entitled “A Song for Chuck” will be held at 6:00 p.m. on Thursday, July 24, 2013 at The Bridge Building at Central Baptist Church in Clovis, New Mexico.
Services will also be held at Old First Orange Baptist Church in Orange, TX. Date is to be determined at a later time.
Memorial contributions can be made to the Southern Baptist Disaster Relief Fund, Baptist Convention of New Mexico, attention: Disaster Relief, PO Box 94485, Albuquerque, New Mexico 87199-4485 (505) 924-2315 or to the Salvation Army, 301 E. 2nd Street, Clovis, NM 88101.
Arrangements are under the care and direction of Steed-Todd Funeral Home and Crematory, 800 E Manana Blvd, Clovis, New Mexico (575) 763-5541. You may also sign the online guest registry at www.steedtodd.com .