One of the last remaining members of the famous “Band of Brothers” paratroopers died Feb. 1, leaving behind a legacy as both a famous soldier and career teacher.
Edward Tipper, a former member of the 101st Airborne Division’s famous Easy Company, died at his home in Lakewood, Colo., according to Kerry Tipper, his daughter.
Tipper and his fellow brothers-in-arms were made famous by the HBO miniseries “Band of Brothers,” which told the story of the 101st Airborne Division’s Easy Company during World War II, from their first jump into German-occupied France on D-Day all the way to the end of the fight in the European theater.
Tipper was born in Detroit in 1921 and volunteered as a paratrooper shortly after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941. He participated in the combat jump on Normandy on June 6, 1944, and the subsequent fight for the French town of Carentan. Tipper was hit by a mortar shell while clearing a house in the town, which cost him two broken legs and his right eye. He won a Bronze Star and Purple Heart for his participation in the battle.
His daughter recalled that Tipper never gave in to his injuries, defying doctor’s warnings on what he could and could not do.
“He was defiant above all,” she told The Denver Post. He reportedly took up handball simply to prove he could do it, and was a frequent skier into his 80s.
Tipper attended the University of Michigan, the University of Northern Colorado and the Colorado State College of Education after the war. He started his teaching career in Iowa, eventually returning to Colorado to teach English and literature. He also ran drama programs in Jefferson County, west of Denver.
“So much of what people talk about with him is what he did in the war. That was two years and really six days starting on D-Day,” said Kerry Tipper. “Teaching was 30 years.”
Tipper will be laid to rest at Fort Logan National Cemetery in Denver, Colorado.
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