Malcolm's Story

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Malcolm Lamar Hipsher, 86, of Indianapolis, formerly of Glen Ellyn, Ill., died Nov. 15, 2011. He was born to the late Conda and Nora (Price) Hipsher in Bourbon, Ind., on April 13, 1925.. He was a graduate of Bourbon High School. After starting his college education at Notre Dame, he enlisted and trained as a bombardier during WWII with the U.S. Navy. His naval training took him to Iowa State University where he met and then married Deane Schilling on June 18, 1945.. Together they moved to Lafayette, following his discharge, where he studied to earn a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from Purdue University. During his final summer at school, Malcolm worked for the Illinois Department of Transportation, supervising the building of his first bridge on a highway in rural Illinois, one of many he was to work on throughout his life.. A son, Timothy, was born during these college days. With a young family, Malcolm moved to Midland, Mich., and was employed by Dow Chemical Co. where he supervised infrastructure projects at the company world headquarters manufacturing plant. It was during this time that his community service began, building bridges of all kinds from industry to community, by being “loaned” by Dow to the Midland City School district for engineering supervision of the construction of a grade school and a high school. Another son, Michael, and a daughter, Sue, joined the family while in Michigan.. Malcolm moved on to a year with A.P. Green Firebrick Co. whose products were designed for and used in the rocket launch pads of Cape Canaveral. A career with U.S. Gypsum Co. followed, working in the Chicago company headquarters as an engineering architectural products consultant and building code review representative for the company. Malcolm and Deane enjoyed 53 years of marriage until her death in 1998.. Malcolm was active in Boy Scouts of America, first as a scout himself, and then as a leader and member of the Scout Council. His service to the Boy Scout organization spanned 51 years. He was awarded the Silver Beaver Award, the highest honor the scouts can give an adult leader, for his enduring service and contributions. His involvement in the Wood Badge adult leadership training program began as a trainee and progressed to leading the program for the DuPage Area Council, as it was known at the time. He was once again “building bridges” to help boys become young men in the Scouting program. The area council is now called the Three Fires Council with headquarters in St. Charles, Ill.. Malcolm mentored scouts working for their eagle award by consulting with each scout about their community service projects, helping when needed and knowing when to step aside to let the opportunity of experiential learning happen. He served as a scoutmaster of troop 45, sponsored by the First Methodist Church of Glen Ellyn, Ill., all the while introducing his sons to the outdoors and leaderships skills. At the annual troop fundraising breakfast, Malcolm cooked the sausage for 18 years straight before finally sitting down to eat during the event.. Malcolm served as a member and president of the District 89, Glen Ellyn, Ill. school board, helping to build educational bridges in the area. He also served as a founding trustee of the St. Thomas Methodist Church from the first days of Sunday gatherings at Valley View School to the planning and building of church offices and a sanctuary on Hwy 53 in south Glen Ellyn.. Malcolm’s love of plants and the outdoors showed in his gardening at home and his volunteer work at the Morton Arboretum in Lisle, Ill. He and Deane worked there as volunteers, helping with whatever was needed — from stuffing fundraising mailings to a survey project on pond temperature and water clarity. After working, they would enjoy the grounds, taking walks among the collection of trees. One of their favorite times there was in the spring as the daffodils bloomed in the western meadows when the bluebirds, juncos and owls would wake up from winter. While Malcolm loved the outdoors, it was really Deane’s love of birding that took them traveling, sometimes going a long way to add a special bird to their life list, journeying to Arizona in the winter for hummingbirds and northern Michigan in the summer for warblers. Together they also worked and supported the Glen Ellyn Food Pantry, assisting with year-round distribution as well as special projects around Thanksgiving and Christmas. While they enjoyed life together, they always found time to bridge family life and serving the community in many different ways.. Malcolm is survived by son, Timothy (Connie) Hipsher of Hornby Island, British Columbia, Canada, and grandson Alexander of Victoria, British Columbia, Canada; son Michael S. Hipsher and Kathryn Bennett of Bellevue, Idaho; and daughter Susan (Scott) Johnson of Zionsville; his brother, Eugene (Shirley) Hipsher of Mishawaka; sister-in-law, Dorothy Schilling of Jefferson, Iowa; and many nieces and nephews.. Malcolm was preceded in death by his wife Deane, and an infant brother, Dale.
Published on  November 23, 2011
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