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My Dad. Herman O. Bips
Good morning or as dad would say, HAPPY TUESDAY.
Looking around I see many staff and friends I have come to know from visiting my dad here at Shell Point, especially this past year . Thanks to you for making sure my dad was safe and assisting him in all his needs. From hurricanes to everyday living. You are the best! Also a thanks to his friends here at Kings Crown where you all share meals and time together.
Dad was born June 15, 1921 and died March 20, 2018 just short of his 97th birthday.
Herman was born in Newark, NJ to German immigrants and lived in a German neighborhood in an area called Ironbound. Both parents died when dad was 15 and neighbors took in him and his brother George.
Herman was street tough and eventually found his way to work in his cousin’s sheet metal fabricating shop. He was self learned and eventually joined the sheet metal union.
My dad married the love of his life, Alma and they enjoyed living in Macoma for 10 years before moving to assisted care at Kings Crown. Mom passed away in 2010 and was known for her loving kind spirit. Noone was a stranger to my mom. They were married in 1943 and were together for sixty-seven years.
Years later, dad felt he was called to the ministry. He had to get his GED, attended Drew University for both undergraduate and seminary. His first church was the Saddle River Methodist Church. Mom later attended college and graduated with an education degree allowing her to operate child care centers in the churches.
Upon retirement,they moved to Shell Point enjoying gardening, beekeeping, boating and various programs. They were charter members of the Ft. Myers Unitarian Church. Dad moved from being a religious person to becoming a spiritual person and seeing good in all religions and in all individuals. Everyone has a spirit or soul and before he died he had wanted to spread the good news.
Dad also had his famous vegetable by the orchid house. He asked for donations for his produce which he gave to the local food bank. He hid a beehive for he needed the pollination. The bees swarmed and he had to move the hive to the mangroves across the canal. Once I called him and he was mumbling, and when asked he said the smoker did not calm the bees and was stung a hundred times. Determined and stubborn, that was dad.
Dad enjoyed political shows and keeping up with modern issues. He was for peace in the world, justice for all, and respect of women. In the 60’s he often preached of love and against war. Made for some interesting encounters after church. Open housing was confirmed by dad when he rented out our home on the open market and accepting all offers.
Dad was a WWII veteran having served in the Army until the blindness in one eye and bad feet drove him out. He looked sharp in his Army uniform and creased hat.
Herman leaves in his wake his sons . Herman and Bill, grandchildren Jessie, Krissy Bill Jr., Sean, Eric, and Sam who is with us today. He is the little boy in the video play with his grampa on the bed.
His daughter and my sister Linda , the oldest one, lost her battle with cancer two years ago. Dad was sorry that she retiring and was on her way to being the best LaLa ever.
Many summers you would find the family at the Jersey shore, or later our annual visit to Sanibel and Captiva.
The family will be getting together in NJ later this year to spread his ashes at the Jersey Shore where he taught us to crab and fish, and ride the waves on rubber rafts at Ocean Grove. The family moved from Newark to Glenwild Lake in Bloomingdale , NJ when the kids were very young.
Thanks to my dad for all the love and support these past 68 years I had with him. The family mourns the loss but all are aware his spirit that lives on through us. May he rest in Peace.
To end this as my dad would end his church services and meals here at Kings Crown……Peace Be With You!