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.