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Arthur Edwin "Art" Hippler

1935 - 2017 Obituary Condolences
Arthur Edwin "Art" Hippler Obituary
Arthur "Art" Edwin Hippler, 82, of Wasilla, died the morning of Dec. 5, 2017, because of complications from a vehicular accident. He died peacefully and gracefully after giving last words of love and advice to his surrounding family. Art is survived by his loving wife, Loni; his four children and their spouses, Arthur and Theresa Hippler, Liana and Scott Campbell, Allen and Christine Hippler, and Alyssa and Andrew Wilson; 15 grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren. He is survived by brother, Bob Hippler; and sisters, Marie Woods, Geri Williamson and Ann Kelly; and a multitude of cousins, nieces and nephews.
Art was born in 1935 to Arthur and Marie Hippler in St. Louis, Missouri. His self-described misbegotten youth was spent playing baseball, making lead soldiers, building crystal radios, serving as an altar boy in his local church and being a hooligan in a neighborhood gang. The nuns at his parochial school saw potential in him and arranged for him to be educated at the College of St. Mary's in California. This was the genesis of his love of learning and he went on from there to get a doctorate in anthropology from the University of California, Berkeley.
Drawn by a research professorship at the University of Alaska and the natural beauty of the state, Arthur moved to Alaska in 1967. He helped found the ACLU in Alaska and was a member of the national Board of Directors of the ACLU. He also helped in the development of the Village Public Safety Officer program in Alaska. For several years, Art was the executive director of Alaska Right to Life.
He met and fell madly in love with Loni Brewis, of Delta Junction. They married in 1974 and raised four children together. He traveled throughout the world, ranging from the Alaskan winters of Utqiavik, previously known as Barrow, to the Australian Outback, and from the Philippines to South Korea, where he became a television star on "Conversational English with
Dr. Hippler."
Art was most noted for three things: his razor sharp intellect, his faith and his exceptional physical condition. His motto was: "All Things to Excess."
He was a true academic and scholar who never stopped learning. He was the author of four books and innumerable articles, and founded an international journal of social science. Art's unflagging desire to know the truth led him to research science, philosophy, politics and theology far outside the range of anthropology. This research, combined with an openness to correction and wisdom, led him back to the Catholic faith after 30 years as an atheist.
A voracious reader, he usually had three or more books going at the same time. His ongoing love of learning and self-betterment aided in his faith and brought him great peace toward the end of his life.
Art was in fantastic physical shape. He visited the gym at The Alaska Club regularly. The 20 - to 30-year-olds around whom he trained marveled at the records he set in his 70s. His children boasted of his physical strength, and other weightlifters at the gym told him that they wished they were in half as good a shape as he was.
Art also enjoyed cooking and would turn into an "Italian Grandmother," needing to feed all who were regularly under his roof. He took care of neighbors by turning up and giving food to them in times of need or distress. Blessed with a natural understanding of the art of making food into a feast, he regularly enjoyed gathering his family around him and providing them with lovingly prepared food.
Art will be greatly missed by friends and family alike. The viewing will be at 11 a.m., with the funeral Mass at noon, Friday, Dec. 8, at Sacred Heart Parish in Wasilla. A reception/wake will be afterward at the Hippler residence in Wasilla.
Published in Daily News-Miner on Dec. 7, 2017
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