Richard Phipps, 88: Purple Heart recipient

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CHEBEAGUE ISLAND — Richard “Dick” Phipps, 88, died peacefully at his home Nov. 24.

He was born Sept. 8, 1927, in New Bedford, Massachusetts, and graduated from high school in Baldwin, New York, in 1947.

In 1951, he married his high school sweetheart, Joan Sause. Several months later, Phipps was drafted into the Army. He served in Korea from 1951-52, when he was assigned to a heavy weapons and motor platoon in the 7th Infantry Division. Phipps was awarded a Bronze Star and a Purple Heart for his service after seeing action in Kumwha Valley during one of the bloodiest engagements of the war.

After he was discharged, Phipps settled in North Babylon, New York, and worked as a construction foreman. After the birth of their children, the couple moved permanently to Chebeague Island in 1975, where the family had summered for generations.

Phipps was an accomplished cabinetmaker and draftsman, as well as an avid boatsman. He was heavily involved in the design and renovation of the 18th century island farmhouse that has for four decades been in the Phipps family. 

He was an active and dedicated member of the Chebeague Island community, volunteering his services for numerous projects, including drafting a redesign of Island Hall. Phipps also built display cases for the Chebeague Historical Society, and served on the volunteer fire department. His family and friends remember him as a quiet, kind, gentle and honest man who invariably brought out the goodness in others.

He was predeceased by his parents, Raymond Phipps and Mildred Hubbard Phipps; a brother, William Phipps; a twin brother, Robert Phipps; and a stepbrother, Julio Fonseca.

Phipps is survived by his wife of 64 years; two sons, Robert, of Portland and Brian, of Chebeague Island; four grandchildren, Anna, Sophie, Lucas and Meadow; a sister, Jane Skofield, of Walpole, New Hampshire; two stepsisters, Jeanette Chapman, of Rio Vista, California, and Alice Haines of Trenton, New Jersey; and a sister, Joy Bourgeois, of San Diego, California.

A funeral service was held Nov. 30 at the Chebeague Island Methodist Church.

The family wishes to thank Chebeague Island Hospice Care Services, Chebeague Island Rescue and caregiver Kim Martin for their care.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be sent to Chebeague Island Commons, 132 Littlefield Road, Chebeague Island, ME 04017.