GUILDERLAND— Thomas Santon Tipple, 64, passed away peacefully on January 27, 2018 at the Hospice Inn at St. Peter's in Albany after a heroic battle with pancreatic cancer. He was the beloved husband of Adrienne Melissa Johnson.
Born in Cooperstown on May 15, 1953, Tom was raised and educated in Delmar. and was the son of Anita (Santon) and the late Ralph Tipple, graduating from Bethlehem Central High School. After completing a bachelor's degree at the State University College at Brockport, he went on to graduate school at the University at Albany, receiving a MBA in 1983. The best day of his life was August 23, 1980 when he married Melissa Johnson, of Elmira, NY, and they lived happily ever after.
Tom began nearly 40 years of State service by spending his college summers painting bridges for the NYS Thruway Authority. For many years It was a source of pain to him to see the Thruway bridges in Rensselaer County in need of his ministrations. After graduation, he spent several years at the NYS Division for Youth as a labor relations specialist, then in 1984 joined the State Division of the Budget. He received a series of promotions and was an Assistant Unit Chief when he left in 2007. A true budget person, he often referred to many millions, if not billions, of State spending dollars as just "rounding". Leaving Budget, he became the Deputy Commissioner for Administration at the NYS Office of Children and Family Services. By 2007 the old Division for Youth had become part of Children and Family Services, and many colleagues from decades earlier were still there, and loudly applauded his return when he was introduced as the new Deputy Commissioner. Humble to a fault, this embarrassed him.
He retired from State service in 2011 and had the good fortune to become the Executive Director of nonprofit Community Caregivers, Inc. in Guilderland, whose mission of "neighbors helping neighbors" was something he believed in with all his heart. He was very happy that the nearly all-volunteer organization was in good financial condition when he left.
When he finally really stopped working in 2013, he was able to pursue his numerous and varied interests, which included but were not limited to: golf as a longtime member of Pinehaven Country Club, taking care of his mother (dinner out every Tuesday), endless research on the technical aspects of new golf equipment, catering to his wife's every wish, horse racing at Saratoga and Ocala, FL, reading nonfiction, keeping up with all sports news, rooting for the NY Giants, (tough to do given their abysmal 2017 season) standing up when Aaron Judge came to the plate, yoga, winters in Florida in The Villages with newfound friends and golf buddies, and playing bridge reluctantly with his wife, (and managing to stifle himself until they got in the car), and this is all just a sample.
He loved and was loved by his entire family, and is survived by his wife, Melissa, his mother Anita S. Tipple, brothers Ralph T. (Suzanne) and Terence J. (Joan) Tipple, and nephews David (Chenin), Matthew (Julie), Michael (Dayani), and Zachary Tipple, 6 great-nephews and one great-niece, his sister-in-law Ellie Schell, and Emma, his much-loved cocker spaniel. He was pre-deceased by his father, Ralph A. Tipple. Always amiable, a good friend to all his friends, he conducted his entire life with kindness, respect, and good will towards all. He will be missed forever.
Much gratitude to Dr. Vittorio Fiorenza and Dr. Craig Maier for years of dedicated care, Sister Mary Frederick, SNJM, for her constant prayers and many cheering visits, and the attentive nurses at St. Peter's Hospital.
A Mass of Christian Burial and memorial service will be held at 11 am on Saturday, May 12 at St. Thomas the Apostle Church in Delmar. The family will receive visitors at the Church beginning at 10 am. Interment will be private. In lieu of flowers, donations in Tom's memory may be made to Community Caregivers, 2021 Western Ave., Suite 104, Albany NY 12203 or to Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center.
Donations in Tom's memory are allocated to support their Pancreatic Cancer Research Fund and should be made payable to Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center and mailed to: MSKCC, Attn: Emily Carter, 885 Second Ave. 7th Floor, New York, NY 10017. Please indicate on the check that the gift is in Tom's memory.