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Bernard E. Fipp


1940 - 2018 Obituary Condolences Gallery
Bernard E. Fipp Obituary
Bernard E. Bernie' Fipp June 11, 1940 - March 20, 2018 La Jolla Bernard E. "Bernie" Fipp passed peacefully at home on March 20th, 2018. He was 77. A former Naval Aviator, Vietnam veteran, commercial real estate developer, entrepreneur, published author, father, grandfather and devoted husband of 48 years to Beverly Fipp, Bernie was uniquely defined by his breadth of interests and accomplishments. He will be remembered as a gentleman with disciplined integrity, gritty when necessary and as having a high capacity for love. Born June 11, 1940 in San Diego to Dr. Bernard S. and Winifred B. Fipp, Bernie was an avid Boy Scout earning the rank of Eagle Scout. Graduating from St. Augustine High School in 1958, and after one year at Santa Clara University, he received a BA in Literature and Philosophy from the University of Oregon in 1962. Bernie voluntarily served in the U.S. Coast Guard in 1963, and then as a Naval Aviator from 1965-1969. After receiving his "Wings of Gold" in 1966, he was assigned to VA-34 as an attack pilot. He deployed with VA-34 as a Lt. J.G. in fall of 1967, flying A-4C "Skyhawks" off the USS Intrepid during the height of the air war over North Vietnam. Among many awards and distinctions Bernie earned nine Air Medals, two Navy Commendation citations with combat "V" and two Navy achievement medals with combat "V." While deployed on USS Forestall in the Mediterranean, Bernie met Beverly, a stewardess for United Airlines, in Greece and married her in 1969. Bernie was honorably discharged from the U.S. Naval Reserve as a Lieutenant Commander in 1979. Following a short stint as a pilot for United Airlines, in 1972 Bernie became a Commercial Broker for Coldwell Banker in San Diego focusing on industrial sales. After working in Albuquerque and Chicago, Bernie returned to San Diego and joined the Koll Company as Partner in 1976. Bringing vision and creativity to his role, Bernie spent the next 10 years conceptualizing, re-developing and developing marquee San Diego properties including the Wells Fargo building downtown and the Carlsbad Research Center. Bernie left Koll and focused on entrepreneurial ventures owning and operating various business interests including commercial real estate investments, car dealerships and a hotel. Bernie enjoyed membership in Young Presidents Organization (YPO), served on the Finance Committee of the La Jolla Country Club and was President of both the board at La Jolla Country Day School and the La Jolla High School Foundation. He was proud of "retiring" early so he could travel the world with Beverly, watch his four children grow and have families of their own, write and publish three books, design and build wooden furniture, once fleetingly get his golf handicap below 20, co-pilot with Beverly his boat up the inland passageway to Alaska and on his 75th birthday, 46 years after his final flight as a Naval Aviator, once again fly an A4-Skyhawk. Bernie memorialized his Vietnam experience in the book "Triple Sticks," based on the journal he and three fellow Lt. J.G. pilots authored during their 67 deployment. The Intrepid Museum in New York honors Bernie and his roommates displaying both the original journal and a static memorial of their stateroom as part of their collection. He also wrote and published two works of fiction. Bernie's courageous battle with cancer ended just before sunrise, allowing him to catch one final "Dawn Hop." Slipping the surly bonds of earth, he joined the ethereal squadron of Navy pilots who preceded him and are eternally boring holes in our heavenly sky. Bernie was predeceased by his parents and a brother, Robert. He is survived by his wife Beverly, four children, Nichole, Robert, David, and James, their spouses, thirteen grandchildren, sister Mary, brother Thomas and a close-knit group of dear friends from the La Jolla community. He will be interred in a private ceremony held at Miramar National Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, please send donations to the Intrepid Museum Foundation or donate online at www.intrepidmuseum.org/75give.
Published in The San Diego Union Tribune on July 1, 2018
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