Major Roger C. Tripp
Roger C. Tripp, age 70, succumbed to Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) on January 20, 2014. Roger was the son of the late Dortha and Robert Tripp of McLean, VA. He is survived by his wife, Marsha, of 42 years and his daughter, Tara, son-in-law, Kris Hart and their two daughters, Holland and Rowan of Castle Rock, CO. His youngest brother, Tommy, preceded him in death. He is also survived by his older brother, Larry, his wife Pat, and their children, and his sister Laurie, her husband Ron Heacock, and their children.
He was born in Washington, D.C. on 18 December, 1943. His travels as a youngster were wide and varied. His father was a naval officer and his assignments took the family to London, England; Colorado Springs, CO; and Norfolk, VA. Roger attended William and Mary in Williamsburg, VA, and transferred to George Washington University in Washington, D. C. where he graduated in 1965. His Masters degree in Management was from Central Michigan University. He entered the USAF in 1965 and attended flight school at Craig AFB, Selma, AL. His first assignment was an 18-month tour to Vietnam flying the C-7A (Caribou) where he was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross [458th]. Following Vietnam, he was assigned to Ramstein AFB and Rhein Main (Frankfurt) consecutively. Most of his time was spent flying the aero medical mission within Europe where he met his wife. He was one of the mission's pilots and she was the flight nurse. They were married in Basal, Switzerland in 1971. Upon leaving Germany, he spent the next three years in a rated position as a personnel officer at Webb, AFB in Big Spring, TX. Roger enjoyed a stellar, well-rounded career which he served with honesty and integrity. Roger ended his 20-year career at Bergstrom AFB in Austin, TX in 1985. During his career, he flew the C-7A, T-33, T-37, C-131, and KC-135. After retiring from the Air Force, he began a wonderful second career at 3M Austin and in time became the IT supervisor. He retired in 2005 after 17 1/2 years. He served as president and board member of the Austin 3M Retiree/Quarter Century Club.
In late 2005, Roger and his wife moved to Sun City, Georgetown, TX. Roger had many interests including photography, tennis, golf, and pickle ball. He served as the safety officer at the wood shop. Roger introduced the “nutcrackers” to his neighborhood and they can be seen during the Christmas season on “Nutcracker Drive.” While serving as Westwood band booster president when his daughter was in high school, he assembled the band booster parents in his front yard and the “blockhead band mascots” for the Westwood band came to being in 1993.
ALS is a cruel disease and considered a “service connected 100% disabling disease.” Roger was very proactive once he learned about his diagnosis. It was a very difficult journey trying to engage the physical medicine personnel (meeting one roadblock after another) at the Temple VA Clinic to supply him with the equipment he needed to live with this horrific disease. Hopefully, his actions and persistence to obtain his needed equipment will aid future veterans who need help from the VA. The representative from the Paralyzed Veterans Association was very helpful upon learning about his 100% disability.
Roger’s mantra was “It is what it is” and always tried to paint life with a positive attitude. He had a smile and warm greeting for anyone he met. His family would like to thank family and friends near and far for their visits, comfort, and concern. A special “thank you” to his immediate neighbors, the ALS Association in Austin, his caregivers, especially Allyssa, and New Century Hospice. Anyone who would like to honor Roger's memory may do so by contributing to the Wounded Warrior Project, P.O. Box 758517, Topeka, KS 66675. Roger will be returned to the city of his birth and will be interred at Arlington National Cemetery.