JoEllen Tipton, 81, of Vermillion, SD passed away peacefully at her home Friday, August 3, 2012.
Mary JoEllen Pillar was born March 19, 1931 in Scotland, SD to Edward and Mary Josephine (Bradley) Pillar. She attended grade school in Scotland and graduated from Scotland High School. She received her Master's Degree from the University of South Dakota in Vermillion. JoEllen married Merlin Tipton on August 25, 1954 in Vermillion.
She was a beloved teacher of sometimes generations starting in Scotland and then in Meckling during the 50's. She taught nursery school in Vermillion and then second grade, retiring in 1993. Second graders were treated to special sessions on Hawaii and Alaska. Parents and students were treated to Hawaiian Luaus or Baked Alaska. She also had an extensive teddy bear collection, which got to attend second grade as well.
She was a 50-year plus member of PEO starting in her mother's chapter in Scotland and later transferring to Vermillion. Over the years, she held all offices and was a favorite on the social committee.
She loved to entertain and she co-hosted a dinner group for over ten years that met at many different households. Culinary experimentation led to some interesting and exotic evenings.
JoEllen's favorite hobby was growing and enjoying roses, which accompanied her to every house she lived in. She enjoyed spending time with her grandchildren and great grandchildren, attending all sporting events she could get to including football, basketball and stock car racing.
She is survived by her husband Merlin of Vermillion, two sons; Mark (Lynette) Tipton of Vermillion, John Tipton of Sioux Falls, SD a daughter Mary (Calvin) Hanson of Meckling, SD, three grandchildren; Doug (Mandy) Hanson, Dave Hanson and Mike (Jenny) Hanson and three great grandchildren; Kasey, Alexis and Karter Hanson. She was also survived by her beloved dog and constant companion Happy.
Funeral services will be 2:30 PM Tuesday, August 7 at the Trinity Lutheran Church in Vermillion with burial in the Cemetery in Scotland, SD. Visitation will be from 6 – 8 PM Monday, August 6 at the Hansen Funeral Home in Vermillion. hansenfuneralhome.com.