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Obituary: John Tripp

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July 18, 1919 – June 3, 2022

Longtime Carbondale resident John Tripp passed on to a new place filled with old friends and loved ones on June 3 at the age of 102. John was born in Waterbury, Connecticut on July 28, 1919, where he lived until World War II brought about changes for many, including John.

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He enlisted in the Army at Hartford, Connecticut on October 14, 1942. After a short time in the Army Air Corp, he joined the 87th Mountain Infantry Regiment which brought him to Camp Hale. In the summer of 1943, his regiment shipped out to liberate Kiska in the Aleutian Islands. After that mission, he returned to Camp Hale where the 87th merged with the newly formed 10th Mountain Division. A long period of training at Camp Hale was followed by the Division shipping out to take on the German army in Northern Italy. During that offensive John was wounded, receiving the Purple Heart and Bronze Star medals.

While training at Camp Hale, John met and married Irene Walker. Eight months after the war ended, John returned to Colorado to reunite with Irene and his daughter, Judy. John and Irene settled in Denver where they added three boys to the family, Jon, Larry and Bill.

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John and Irene’s love of the mountains found them skiing, camping and hiking in and around Leadville and Aspen, in particular. While traveling from Denver to Aspen, they made a plan to settle in Carbondale, where they could enjoy waking up every morning with a view of Mount Sopris. Their dream to move to Carbondale came true in 1969 after purchasing land and building a home.

John had many jobs around the Valley where he made many friends, both young and old, whom he and Irene treasured. They also traveled extensively, visiting all seven continents. They spent much time in Provence, France where John could speak and improve his French.

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John lived a long, full life. His mind was sharp and he was vibrant in his thoughts and conversation to the end. Among his contributions to the Carbondale community, John provided an oral history to the Roaring Fork Veterans History Project in association with the Library of Congress in 2007; and he was interviewed many times for various articles and videos sharing a proud history.

John was preceded in death by his wife Irene, his parents, two sisters and son-in-law Jim Briscoe.

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John is survived by his four children: Judy Briscoe, Paonia; Jon, Carbondale; Larry, Basalt; and Bill (Jill) Durango; also his brother-in-law Jerry Walker, Tualatin, Oregon; seven grandchildren; 11 great-grandchildren and two great-great grandchildren; many nieces, nephews and friends.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the 10th Mountain Foundation (10thmountainfoundation.org) or Aspen Public Radio in his name. A celebration of life for John will be held July 17 at Sopris Park between 1 and 4 p.m. 

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“I love nature, it’s the greatest thing we have.” – John Tripp, 2018.

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