Joseph Sippel
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Joseph Sippel, age 81, of Vermillion, South Dakota, passed away Wednesday, June 24, 2015 at Avera Sister James Care Center in Yankton, South Dakota.

Memorial services are 11:00 AM, on Tuesday, June 30, 2015 at First United Methodist Church in Vermillion with Reverend Rick Pittenger officiating. Arrangements are under the direction of the Wintz & Ray Funeral Home and Cremation Service in Yankton.

Joseph was born on January 3, 1934 in Bowdle, South Dakota to Johann and Linde (Sümnicht) Sippel. He graduated from Vermillion High School and then went on to receive a degree in mathematics from the University of South Dakota in Vermillion. Joseph married Wilma Eberhard on June 24, 1965 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. He taught math at Todd County High School in Mission, South Dakota for 35 years and was also a dorm dean for nine years. After he retired from teaching, he moved back to Vermillion. Joseph enjoyed boating, fishing, technology and computers. He was very well read and always kept up with current events. Joseph was active in the First United Methodist Church, the Lions Club and Senior Center. Joseph and Wilma cared for their mothers who lived with them in their home for many years.

Joseph is survived by three children: JoAnn (Dave) Buhl of Marquette, MI, Jon (Laura) Sippel of Fort Mills, SC and Jozette (Dave) Knoff of Yankton; seven grandchildren: three big sisters, Frieda Halverson of Hawthorne, CA, Margaret Schmierer of Albuquerque, NM and Flora (John) Larson of Surprise, AZ; and a very special friend, Pat Dusseau of Vermillion.

Joseph was preceded in death by his parents; wife, Wilma on July 3, 2000; son, Daniel Sippel and two brothers, Nathan and Waldemar Sippel.

Messages will be reviewed and posted within 1 business day.

I remember your family always sat in the front row at Church in Mission. I'm certain that was just preparation for Joe. He now sits in the front row in Heaven. Praying for comfort for all who loved and miss him.

Lindsey and Bette Anderson

So sorry to hear about Joe's passing. Joe and I were in the Lions Club in Vermillion together - he was a fantastic photographer, always smiling and working to get the angle just right. :) I had a weekly hug from him during the "passing of the peace" in the Vermillion UMC, I will treasure that last embrace when I was back about a year ago. Peace to him and his family.

Jacquie Lonning

Mr. Sippel was one of the best teachers I ever had the fortune of learning from at Todd County High School. He helped inspire a life long interest in math and science. One of my best memories of him was we were conducting an experiment in Physics class, looking at velocity and acceleration. We had a roll of paper that was attached to a roller skate. There was a timer that would put a dot on the paper every second. Anyhow, one of the students got a little carried away on his roller skate and wiped out. He was going to throw away his paper but Mr. Sippel was about as excited as I'd seen him, saying that this "accident" was the perfect way to study the relationship between velocity and acceleration. And it was. Thank you Mr. Sippel for making a difference in my life and countless others. RIP.

Kasey Abbott

I was so sorry to hear of your loss, my deepest sympathy to Mr. Sippel's entire family. Mr. Sippel affected innumerable students at Todd County High School. I was fortunate enough to be among the first class of yahoos he was faced with out of the University and he eagerly accepted the challenge. He was the most professional, patient, imaginative, and demanding teacher I've ever had and I deeply regret losing track of him and not telling him so while he was alive. He went the extra mile for us whether it was developing a course to teach some of us during his (and our) lunch hour ("it will help you in college")or driving us around the State to participate in math/science contests on weekends (a Soccer Dad before it was popular.) He did this for the love of teaching and his mostly undeserving students although he may have received some mileage for his Corvair. He answered the time worn question of "What is algebra good for anyway?" by having us compute the height of our flag pole using a string and a protractor. In Physics he gave us an appreciation for power by having us compute our individual horse power by weighing us, racing us up a given set of stairs, and timing the event. The results were unimpressive but we learned that no matter how fast we were or how strong we thought we were we mere mortals couldn't come close to generating 1hp! He just grinned his knowing grin. I was able to score high enough to garner an appointment to the AF Academy and was able to achieve my dream of becoming a pilot, none of that would have been possible without Mr. Sippel and I will be forever grateful. RIP you dear man.

LeMoyne Bristow, TCHS Class of '61

My deepest sympathies to the family of Joe Sippel. You were very fortunate to have him as a dad. As a former student of his algebra class, I can attest to his great patience. God be good to him.

Bernadette Borszich Usera

I am very saddened to learn of Mr. Sippel's passing. My deepest sympathy to the entire Sippel family. I was a student of Mr. Sippel at Todd County High School. I will never forget that day, January 28, 1986...a moment I have no doubt Mr. Sippel remembers as much as I do. As I and the other students sat in Mr. Sippel's computer class at our desks, an announcement was broadcast over the classroom intercom speaker. This was the day that the Space Shuttle Challenger exploded shortly after launch. The announcer told of the Challenger disaster, and we were frozen in total disbelief. I remember looking toward Mr. Sippel at his desk, wondering what he would say. He was very composed, and he talked to us about the risks involved with space exploration. He said as mankind continues to explore space, this kind of accident is an unfortunate eventuality as we push further into to expand our knowledge and understanding. I watched after he finished speaking, and I will a lways re member him looking out the window for several moments reflecting on his thoughts as the astronauts made such a brave sacrifice that day. I wish Mr. Sippel a peaceful rest after his passing. I will always remember him as such a great teacher and role model, one that helped inspired me to achieve what I have today in my professional life. Thank you, Sir.


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