Roger Tipka of Litchfield, MN, age 100, received the best Christmas present ever, Heaven. Roger entered his eternal home on Saturday, December 25, 2021. Visitation will take place on Sunday, January 2, 2022 from 4-7pm at Johnson-Hagglund Funeral and Cremation Service in Litchfield, MN and 1 hour prior to the funeral service on Monday, January 3, 2022 at 11am at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, Litchfield. Interment will be held at Ripley Cemetery, Litchfield, MN. Military Honors provided by the Litchfield Military Honor Guard. The service will be livestreamed at www.johnsonhagglund.com.
Roger Robert Tipka was born in Harvey Township, Meeker County, Minnesota on March 17, 1921 to Fred and Marie (Zemke) Tipka. He was baptized October 15, 1921 at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, Litchfield and was confirmed at Zion Lutheran Church, Litchfield.
Roger graduated from Litchfield High School in 1939 and served in the Army in WWII from 1942 to 1945. Roger was a radio operator with Company C 568th Signal Aircraft Warning Battalion. He was stationed in Kauai, Hawaii and also served on Iwo Jima. During Roger’s duty on Iwo Jima, he was present for both the first and second flag raisings.
On June 26, 1949 he was united in marriage to Doris Zaeska at St. John’s Lutheran Church, Atwater, MN. To this union were 4 children. John (Chris) Tipka of Rochester, MN, James Tipka (Special Friend, Lou Otis), Joan (Vaughn) Euerle, all of Litchfield and Janet (John) Forstrom of Sarasota, FL.
Working hard was a motto of his. Roger started working at a very young age for the Hirdler Brothers who promised because of his work ethic, he would always have a job. This promise held true as he worked until the age of 99! Roger’s career was spent as an auto mechanic starting with Kvam Oldsmobile then Hughs Motors, followed by Fenton Motors and lastly retiring as “the cookie guy” with Davis Motors. As the cookie guy, Roger could be found in the waiting area of the dealership offering coffee and cookies to waiting customers. If you were one of these customers you would be guaranteed that Roger would strike up a conversation and have a story or two to share.
St. Paul’s Lutheran Church was Roger’s church home for the past 72 years where he served as an elder, usher and a member of the Men’s Club.
Roger enjoyed working outside in his yard and was always proud of having a nice looking dandelion free lawn. He was often found crawling around on the grass with his dandelion picker and at times even seen with scissors trimming grass that the lawn mower missed.
For many years daily at 3pm, Roger would meet up with friends for coffee. He liked to travel and treasured the many bus trips he and Doris had together across the United States. For several years they would spend a winter month in either California or Florida. Roger had last traveled to Washington D.C. with his youngest daughter when he was 99 to celebrate the 75th Anniversary of Iwo Jima. A trip he talked about for the rest of his days.
Within the past 2 years, Roger and his family were blessed to celebrate their 70th wedding anniversary and earlier this year, Roger’s 100th birthday.
Roger is survived by his wife, children, 7 grandchildren - Courtney (Tim) Rieke, Cheslie Tipka, Melissa (Blake) Tangen, Alexander (Anndrea) Euerle, Emily (Nic) Holm, Anna Euerle and Alex Forstrom and 10 great-grandchildren - Camden, Aubree & Braydon Rieke; William, Ryker & Mackenzie Tangen, Henrik and Tucker Euerle; and Greta and Andrew Holm; brother-in-law Jerome Zaeska; sisters-in-law - Kathy Tipka, Ramona Werner, Maija Zaeska and Sharon Zaeska; along with many nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his parents, brothers - Leonard, Harry, LeRoy, Arnold and Arthur Tipka; sisters - Loretta Wachholz and Alice Kipf; brothers-in-law - Harold Wacholz, Vernon Kipf, Harry Werner, Harold Wallmow, Lewy Angrimson and Charlie Zaeska; sisters-in-law Deloris Tipka, Shirley Tipka, Audrey Tipka, Rona Tipka, Arlene Wallmow and Janice Angrimson; and Godson and nephew, Brian Tipka.
The life lessons Roger shared with his children and grandchildren will carry on. Roger was truly part of The Greatest Generation.
Blessed be his memory.