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TIPPET, IAN B.

Posted By Whitney & Murphy On March 20, 2020 @ 10:45 am In Obituary | 22 Comments

Ian B. Tippet, the man who brought Broadway musicals, hootenannies, recitals, and concerts to Glacier National Park at Many Glacier Hotel for decades, died of natural causes on March 9, 2020, in Arizona. He was 88.

Ian B. Tippet (Mr. T) was born July 27, 1931, in Devonshire, England, the son of William Roberts Kerby Tippet and Henrietta Winifred Parker (Sanders) Tippet.

Born in Devonshire, England, Ian Tippet’s hometown was Balham, London, England, where he survived the bombing in WWII. As a child he attended the Royal Academy of Music in London. In his youth he attended a private boarding school for 5 years, West Buckland School, in Barnstaple, North Devon, England.

After West Buckland School, Tippet attended college where he graduated cum laude from hotel management school at Westminster College in London. Tippet came to the U.S. on a scholarship from Conrad Hilton, the founder of the Hilton Hotel chain. He planned to work under Hilton for a few years and then return to London to work in Hilton’s London hotels. During one of his summers in the U.S., Ian had the chance to visit Glacier National park. “I never went back to do what I was supposed to do with Hilton,” he said. “Glacier ate me up.”

Ian B. Tippet worked in Glacier National Park for 63 years, from 1950-2014. For the majority of those years he was the vice president and personnel director for all park concessions owned by Glacier Park Inc. In addition, in the summers from 1961-1983, Mr. Tippet managed Many Glacier Hotel. As the old 1915 hotel was not very luxurious during those years, Tippet felt it was important to get the guests out of their rooms and entertain them. To that end, he hired university students from across the country, especially seeking out drama and music majors for the entertainment program at Many Glacier. University students of every major were hired for other locations throughout the park. In the winter months, in Phoenix, Ian spent countless hours recruiting and communicating with universities.

Employees who were fortunate to have worked with Mr. T have exclaimed how he changed their lives. He was a consummate professional, instilling high standards in his staffs. He inspired enormous loyalty among his employees through hard work and devotion to community. They were indeed fortunate to have crossed paths with this unique man who was larger than life. His legacy is their community and friendships shared. In his 63 years in Glacier National Park, he touched several generations of people who fell under his spell in glorious Glacier.

A legend has passed.

Ian B. Tippet is survived by his sisters: Vivienne (Roy) Holliday and Angela (David – deceased) Walden, UK, / Nieces and Nephews: Rachel Walden, Houston TX / Juliet Hardingham, UK / Rebecca (Andy) Jordan, UK / Charles (Marie) Tippet, UK / Simon (Vicki) Tippet, Paris, France.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Wm. Kerby Roberts and Henrietta Winifred Tippet, and his brother, Vice Admiral Sir Anthony Sanders Tippet, KCB Royal Navy (wife Lola – deceased).


Condolences for the family of “TIPPET, IAN B.”

Condolence from Mike Painter on March 20th, 2020 11:49 am

I will never forget the moment in June of 1982 when Mr. Tippet burst out of his office full of joy and elation and declaring… “We have an heir” referring to the announcement that Prince William had been born to Charles and Diana. He went around the whole hotel that day with a huge smile and wanted to let everyone know that the future of the Monarchy was secured!!!

Condolence from Ann Martinson Mans on March 20th, 2020 12:13 pm

My condolences to the Tippet family. A legend has passed indeed. I am one of the thousands of people whose lives have been forever changed by their experiences In Glacier National Park. I don’t know what Mr. T saw in the 1969 application of a farm girl from rural northern Minnesota who had never had a job off the family farm, but he hired me for the Swiftcurrent kitchen and changed my life! I went on to spend nine summers in Glacier and made friends for a lifetime. We still get together in Glacier every other summer and travel in Europe together as well. Bless you and Rest In Peace, Mr. Tippet.

Condolence from Cathy Crossland Woods on March 20th, 2020 1:52 pm

I was one of the countless college students who were hired by Mr. Tippet over many years. My one summer (1971) working at Many Glacier Hotel as a maid and having many opportunities to perform was one of the greatest blessings of my life! Mr. Tippet was one of the most extraordinary people I’ve ever met. I will be forever grateful to him. My condolences to the family.

Condolence from Michele Larkin Davis on March 20th, 2020 2:09 pm

My sincere condolences to the family of Mr. Tippet, what a great man with a wealth of stories that he shared, It was a pleasure to have known a great man he showed me the true definition of friendship. I was his Social Worker from Hope Home Health Care, and it was a pleasure working with him and his beautiful family and friends what an awesome community of friends he had. Mr. T will be Greatly Missed…God Bless…

Condolence from Dr. Harold Gamble on March 20th, 2020 2:18 pm

Our condolences to the Tippet family on the recent passing of Mr. Ian Tippet. In March of 1973 my wife, Susie, and I walked into Mr. Tippet’s office in Tucson, Arizona and inquired about jobs in Glacier National Park. I had already worked on the trail crew for four years prior to flying combat missions in Vietnam for the U. S. Navy, and I wanted Susie to experience glorious GNP. We walked out of his office with jobs that day ( Glacier Park Lodge) and had a wonderful summer. Unbeknownst to me until now, Mr. Tippet is from the same town in England as my ancestors. In addition, my brother earned his college degree in Hotel & Restaurant Management and worked for Baron Hilton like Mr. Tippet did. The photo above of Mr. Tippet is exactly as he looked when he hired us in 1973.

Condolence from Laura Shearin on March 20th, 2020 7:48 pm

Mr. Tippet changed so many lives, including mine. He somehow made us all better than we really were, by having such a specific vision of what “this wonderful old barn” (as he called Many Glacier Hotel) could be.

Condolence from Thomas brigitte on March 21st, 2020 4:36 am

My father Andre was a Ian’s friend living in EPERNAY ,Champagne, France. Ian loved to come to our home.
My first mémories of Ian date back to the sixties.
My brother Bernard and I cameto Many Glacier Park Hôtel in 1970
We had a fabulous experience with Ian and all the students there.
Ian was a great man, so kind and he had for sure a fantastic life.
We shall not forget him
May God grant him eternal peace

Condolence from William F Yearout on March 21st, 2020 6:36 am

I was first hired by Mr. Tippet as a Jammer for the summer of 1967 and again for the summer of 1969. Although I did not report to Mr. Tippet, I had a ringside seat to the magic he brought to Many Glacier each summer. Each time I delivered my peeps to The Showplace of the Rockies, I did so with great pride, knowing my passengers were in for a special treat and a renewal of faith in our somewhat maligned generation. Some of the performers were my friends, and each was deeply touched by the opportunities and creativity that Mr. Tippet brought to Glacier.

His magical enthusiasm extended far beyond his direct reports. Directly and indirectly, he provided so many of us with gifts to last a lifetime – a stronger sense of purpose , a fuller appreciation of teamwork, a deeper appreciation of the performing arts, and a dedication to the principle of leading by example. This is a heck of a legacy that will be passed to future generations.

Condolence from Donald j Hannan lll on March 21st, 2020 8:45 am

Mr. Tippet hired me, in spite of well deserved reservations, twice in my lie. First for a position as a deck hand on the Motor Vessel International on Upper Waterton Lake in Glacier National Park. It was an experience that changed my life like no other. Those who have been fortunate enough to experience GNP intimately will know what I mean. Later in his life he took a second chance in hiring me as a life guard at the storied Arizona Inn. Elegant and beautiful as it’s legendary guests both places personified the grace and charm that were essential elements of the man and his vocations. What a gift it was to know Mr. Tippet through the opportunities he provided and the values he upheld.

Condolence from David Porter on March 21st, 2020 11:48 am

I remember feeling lucky to write “played trumpet” on the application for employment. But within days of arriving at Many in ’68, I shipped my trumpet back home — for no way could I compete with the wonderful talent Mr. Tippet had assembled!

Such taste and decorum he had! And so fortunate was I to have witnessed his life!

Condolence from Fergus Prestbye (Fergus and His Friends) on March 21st, 2020 3:49 pm

Thanks for the opportunity to express my deep appreciation for Ian Tippet who, over the course of two Summer in the ’60s gave me the model for professionalism, style and class in dealing with the public and with a couple hundred employees. It served me well as the boss of my own business and in dealings with friends. He will be missed.

Condolence from Alan Bonner, Lt Col, USAF on March 21st, 2020 8:51 pm

I am so sorry to learn of Mr. Tippet’s passing. My two summers (‘67 & ‘68), remain some of my most treasured memories. When I saw the application brochure featuring the Prince Edward Hotel on the bulletin board at the music building at the University of Oklahoma, and read about GNP and summer opportunities, especially for music students, I had to apply.
When I arrived at Many Glacier Hotel, I was overwhelmed, and slightly intimidated when I met this British guy who was the manager. However, he was straightforward, and totally won me over!
As mentioned earlier, we did have a strong trumpet section, and the talent Mr. Tippet gathered was exceptional. It was like being at a self taught music camp, and the performances presented to the hotel guests were truly exceptional as well.
I made friendships that continue to last, and none of that would have happened without the vision and leadership of Mr. Tippet. He always treated us with professionalism, patience and class, even when we stretched the boundaries as college students tended to do! I will always remember him calling us fairly formally with his British accent: “Mista Bahner” with heavy emphasis on the Bah!! :).

To Mr. Tippet’s family please accept my sincere condolences on your loss. I did not have the opportunity to see him in many years, but do know he impacted my life in such a positive way. I know so many other young college students were touched as well. Thank you Mr. Tippet and Rest In Peace.

Condolence from TI’m Sandin on March 22nd, 2020 7:34 am

Mr. Ian hired me out of Tucson in 1970 as a Jammer. I had no talent and he apparently recognized my gift was one of gab so I drove a tour bus and told stories and legends of Glacier. Along with my fellow jammers we loved going to Many and although we not always partied in the most distinguished fashion, Mr. Ian always was so “flexible” in his treatment of the “unwashed” other employees who could barely karaoke to the juke box. He is and will always remain the legend he so greatly deserves. He kept us entertained, in line and respectful of his vision. It is an honor to be such a small part of his history and thank him for four wonderful summers of my life. He did change lives and all for the better. RIP my friend. Well done!!

Condolence from Bernard GOUGEON on March 22nd, 2020 8:09 am

My condolences to the Tippet family.
Ian will always be in my memories.
As a friend of my father, Ian came very often in Epernay, France, on the way to England, his family home.
We were waiting for his visits at Christmas time.
In 1970, my sister Brigitte and I had the chance to come in the US and to discover Many Glacier Hotel, at the invitation of Ian.
Since, I felt in love of the US.
Mr. T will be greatly missed…God Bless Him…

Condolence from Herbert A Thornbury on March 22nd, 2020 12:02 pm

Mr. Tippet hired me as a Jammer in 1967, one of the most pleasant and memorable summers of my life. I returned to Glacier 4 times over the years with my family and always sought out Mr. Tippet to thank him for the glorious time at Glacier. In 1967 he produced “The Fantasticks” at Many Glacier which I saw in 1975 off-Broadway during its 42 year run. I have always felt the production at Many Glacier was better.
We are all better for having known him.
Farewell to a friend and true gentleman.

“Try To Remember”

Try to remember the kind of September when life was slow and oh, so mellow
Try to remember the kind of September when grass was green and grain was yellow
Try to remember the kind of September when you were a tender and callow fellow
Try to remember and if you remember then follow

Try to remember when life was so tender that no one wept except the willow
Try to remember when life was so tender that dreams were kept beside your pillow
Try to remember when life was so tender that love was an ember about to billow
Try to remember and if you remember then follow

Deep in December it’s nice to remember although you know the snow will follow
Deep in December it’s nice to remember without the hurt the heart is hollow
Deep in December it’s nice to remember the fire of September that made us mellow
Deep in December our hearts should remember and follow

Condolence from Don Lewis on March 22nd, 2020 2:13 pm

I doubt that outsiders can possibly understand the depth of feelings we have for Glacier and the wonderful man : Ian Tippet.

Condolence from Liz Murphy Hughes on March 25th, 2020 10:20 am

No one loved Glacier National Park more than Ian Tippet!

I first met Mr T in May of 1982 when I was hired to work in the Central Reservations office (before computers and the internet) located in the basement level of Glacier Park Lodge! I fell in love with Montana that summer. It was the single best summer of my life. I made life long friends and have so many cherished memories. I returned for 3 more summers and Mr T was always there making sure everything was up to snuff…from the gardens to the entertainment to the employee mail room!

Fast forward about 19 years, my husband and I are pulling into the Glacier Park Lodge parking lot and he says to me, “do you think you will know anyone who still works here?” I said, “no, I can’t imagine I would know anyone still here”. We get out of the car, walk across the parking lot and run smack right into Mr Tippet!!

There is a special place in my heart for Montana and Glacier National Park and I owe it all to a man who hired this upstate NY girl ( who by the way had NO musical or performing talent] back in the summer of 1982!

Condolence from Mary and Dennis Scott on March 25th, 2020 12:47 pm

A great friend will be missed
Dennis and Mary Scott

Condolence from Lyman Holmes on March 27th, 2020 11:19 am

Mr. Tippet was viewed with great respect and admiration throughout the Glacier hotel system. Working at Lake McDonald Lodge 1970-72, I did not often see Mr. Tippet but I knew him as a competent, conscientious and gracious person who was very dedicated to the hotels and their employees. I cherish the memory of my visit with him at Glacier Park Lodge in 2014. It was great pleasure to see him again and to be able to introduce him to my family.

I am eternally grateful to Mr. Tippet for allowing me to spend three wonderful summers at Lake McDonald.

My condolences to his family and his many friends.

Condolence from Gabriel A. Rowland on April 4th, 2020 7:36 pm

Ian B. Tippet was my friend, my brother, my mentor, and father.
Not only did he hire me on the spot but he also trained me in all aspects of Hotel Management
He empowered me with so much knowledge that it changed my entire life
I am eternally grateful to Ian for treating me like a family member.
In fact he took me to England at Christmas time to meet his family in 1980.
I was honored that he kept a picture of me on his desk at Glacier Park Lodge
I will miss him, he was dear friend.
My condolences to the family.

Condolence from Gail Luck on April 8th, 2020 1:32 pm

I met Ian at Forest Park. Everyday he walked to Safeway. He bought plants. I was lucky enough to walk with him on many occasions and he enchanted me with his wonderful tales of Glacier Park and the Hilton chain. What a lovely personality he had.

Condolence from Tom Miller on May 24th, 2020 5:52 am

In 1990 I was waiting to interview for a computer sales job in my college career center, which I didn’t get, and as I waited I leafed through a binder with brochures for summer jobs. One of those brochures was from GPI. There were mountains on the cover, and I had never seen mountains (I lived in Alabama all my life.) On a whim, and with no other options, I applied. A few weeks later I got a call from a man with an English accent and an infectious enthusiasm saying how impressed he was with my credentials and that he was excited to offer me a position. This was new to me. No one had ever been excited to offer me a job. Of course, this was Ian. Instead of kicking around home, trying to land a “real” job, I traveled out to Glacier and spent a summer in the orbit of this widely passionate, unique, hardworking man. I remember one of his favorite phrases was “leave it to Tippet” as he’d roll up his sleeves and get to work. That summer in Glacier, and Ian, changed my life. Rest now, Ian. And thank you for everything.

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