Lieutenant Colonel Michael (Mike) J. Chippi, US Army Retired, age 80, passed away on October 11, 2019 in Laurel, MD after a long battle with Alzheimer’s. Born March 31, 1939 in Hazleton, PA, he is the son of the late Michael C. Chippi & the late Ruth (Parise) Chippi.
Mike served in the US Army from 1958 to 1981 which included some time in the National Guard. Following graduation from Officer Candidate School in 1963, he served in Korea and Vietnam. He was a skilled linguist in Vietnamese and German which he learned in military language institutes. He received his Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice from the University of Nebraska in Omaha.
His career in the military was nothing short of outstanding. From start to finish he conducted exemplary service, receiving praise and recognition from numerous superior army personnel. Earning a Bronze Star Medal, Legion of Merit and Army Commendation Medal are a few of the awards bestowed upon him, yet his greatest accomplishment was touching the hearts of countless soldiers through his kind and humble demeanor.
After his military retirement, Mike continued to work which included his own Investment Advisory business, a real estate agent and finally as comptroller of a mortgage company for 25 years. He was successful in each endeavor.
Mike was a devoted Catholic and equally devoted to his family. Despite being relocated across the US, in Germany, and serving overseas, his family was his number one priority. Each time he was granted leave it was used as an opportunity to return home. No matter the distance between him, his wife and children, or his parents, he would make the drive to see them.
Mike’s most memorable qualities were his generous spirit, how he smiled all the time, was always giving kind and supportive words, and his willingness to offer wisdom to anyone in need. Mike was a great storyteller and enjoyed sharing jokes to make people laugh.
A unique thing about Mike was that he learned and enjoyed handicapping thoroughbred horses. He wrote a noteworthy paper in college about this and it was published in a local newspaper.
Mike is survived by his wife, Mary (Lefko) Chippi, of 60 years and their four children: Michael (his wife Donna), Anthony (wife Sandy and their two children Micheal and Ryan), Brian (his daughter Anna), Cheryl (her 2 children Collin and Riley and Cheryl’s husband Robert and his daughter Alex). He is also survived by a brother Robert Chippi (wife Salle, their daughter Maria, her son Roberto and Maria’s husband John), and two sisters, Mary (Chippi) Esposito (husband Angelo and their son Anthony (Tony), wife Lucy and Lucy’s daughter Isabella), Joan (Chippi) Patterson (husband Jim and their children Shawne, wife Cindy and their two children Aidan and Ethan, daughter Angela, daughter Tracy and her husband Max). Michael is also survived by his wife’s sister Nancy Conahan, husband Pat Conahan, son Ian Conahan, wife Angela and their daughters Francesca and Gemma.
A viewing will be held at the Lady of Grace Church at the Queen of Heaven Parish (750 N. Vine St., Hazleton, PA) from 9-10 am, followed by the church service from 10:00 am. to 10:45 am.
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