obit template2018-11-29T12:10:12+00:00

James Paul

The things that made James Hipp truly extraordinary are endless, but perhaps one of the things that made him so lovable was the way that he made everyone feel at ease after only a few minutes of being around him. His smile was perpetual, and he was warm, inviting, and approachable with a love for life that was easy to see. It was no secret that Jim was married to his soul mate as they were partners, companions, and best friends. His love as a husband spilled over into the love he had for his children, and he felt like the luckiest man in the world to become PaPa to the most amazing grandchildren. Jim lived an active life filled with countless enriching experiences, but what made these things even more special was sharing them with the ones he loved. His timeless legacy that is deeply rooted in generosity and compassion will be carried on by those who follow in his footsteps.

During the first half of the 1940s the eyes of our nation were focused overseas as countless young people were serving in WWII after the attack on our naval base in Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. Those who remained stateside became familiar with rationing on common goods, manufacturing that was focused on supporting the war effort, and gathering around radios awaiting the latest news from the front lines. Amidst this eventful time was a time of great anticipation for James and Bernice (Pietkivich) Hipp as they awaited the birth of their baby as the reality of the winter to come settled on the town of Racine, Wisconsin, in 1943. The big day finally arrived when the baby boy they named James Paul drew his first breath. He was the only child in his family, and his childhood was anything but easy. Because his parents divorced when he was only three, Jim’s mother worked many hours a week to support herself and her son. His maternal grandmother, Veronica, filled in many of the gaps that his mother’s necessary absence created, and she became very influential in Jim’s life.

Even from a young age Jim was a bustle of activity. He was very involved in sports and attended local schools in Racine. Jim’s high school years found him at Washington Park High School where he played football. In addition to holding down his studies, he worked at the Corner House Restaurant in Racine where he bussed tables. Jim’s mother also worked there.

After graduating from high school in 1961, Jim went on to University of Wisconsin in Madison with aspirations of becoming a pharmacist. He worked hard during the summers at a steel foundry in Racine to put himself through school. This work motivated Jim to fully apply himself to his studies as he did not want to have a career at the foundry.

Not to be forgotten during this time was Jim’s introduction to the young woman with whom he would write a love story that would span nearly 50 years. Her name was Lori Lochowitz, and they met in the summer of 1962 back home in Racine as she was dating a friend. Jim liked to give her a hard time because she attended Marquette University, with no football team, but it was a different story come basketball season. Back at school that fall, Lori had some friends who were talking about attending a UW football game. Lori chimed in that she knew someone who could get tickets, and so her connection with Jim was rekindled. Soon, they began dating. Not long after Lori graduated from Marquette in 1966, the sweethearts were married on September 3, 1966, at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Racine.

The newlyweds initially lived in Madison for one year while Jim completed his Bachelor of Science degree in Pharmacy, graduating on June 5,1967. Lori was not able to attend the graduation because their first son, Michael, was born just the day before. After serving an apprenticeship, Jim began his work as a pharmacist. While establishing his career, Jim and Lori continued to grow their family that eventually included their son Steve in January of 1969 and their daughter Kasey in September of 1972. In 1980, Jim and Lori opened their home to a Dutch exchange student, Karen, for one year. She has remained connected to their family to this day.

As fathers go Jim was second to none as he was constant source of support and encouragement to his children throughout their lives. He was there to give them a listening ear and had an intuitive understanding into what was going on in their lives. Jim always wanted only the best for his children and he worked hard to provide them with more than he had as a child. He encouraged them to strive to be their very best, too. Jim was always there for his children in every way possible. In everything they did, he was so very proud of his children.

Jim’s career moved them around a bit. They moved to Burlington, Wisconsin, when he took a position at Tobin Drug. Jim spent five years working there before becoming a partner in Tobin Drug. Once a partner, they moved to Oconomowoc in 1972. He and Lori moved back to Burlington in 1981. After 30 years, Jim retired from Tobin Drug in 2003. That same year he and his wife moved to Milwaukee, settling in the Third Ward close to all the activities and social opportunities they enjoyed such as the theater, festivals, the river, and dining out with family and friends. Jim continued working part time at Walgreens, fully retiring in 2014 at the age of 70.

Young at heart, Jim was always busy. He loved travel, sports, fishing trips to Canada with his sons and grandson, and the memorable family ski trips to Colorado. It was easy to tell that Jim was a passionate UW Badger fan as he was usually seen sporting cardinal and white colors. Jim enjoyed bicycling and made it across the state on two separate occasions. After moving to Milwaukee he was able to bicycle to many activities, and he really loved not having to drive in the city. Social gatherings with family and friends were frequent, and he loved exploring new places.

All who knew Jim would agree that he was truly a gift. He had a perpetual smile and was as social and outgoing as they come. When his outgoing personality was matched with his wife’s, they were a force who were always on the go together as well as with others. Although his battle with cancer was short, Jim continued to bless those around him in such a special way.

With a life that spanned times of great change in the world around him, James Hipp created a brilliantly colored mosaic of memories that his loved ones will cherish. He was never one to worry about the things of this world, rather, his focus was on loving and serving those who are in it. Jim was a man of honor and integrity whose greatest pride and joy was found in the family he shared with the love of his life. Taken too soon, he will never be forgotten.

James P. Hipp died on January 6, 2015. Jim’s family includes his wife, Lori Hipp; children, Michael (Sharon) Hipp, Steve (Emily) Hipp, Kasey Hipp, and Dutch daughter, Karen (Rob) Ponne; grandchildren, Teagan Hipp, Jace Hipp, Fleur Ponne, and Roos Ponne; and other relatives and friends. Family and friends will gather Monday, January 12, 2015, at Three Holy Women Parish – St. Hedwig Church 1704 N. Humboldt Ave from 11:30 a.m. until time of the Memorial Mass at 2:30 p.m. Arrangements provided by Suminski LifeStory Funeral Homes, Suminski / Weiss (414) 276-5122. Please visit to leave a memory.

Past Comments

katie rinka

How do you start to honor a man that was like a second father to you? The way we were all raised in our little community was by the village – if your parents weren’t around, your parents friends were right there to help. and Lori and Jim were always there for me. Kasey and I were inseparable during our youth. I probably spent more time at the Hipp house than they ever wanted! ha! One of my best memories of Jim is the way he cheered at all the games Kasey had in Grade school and HS. But here’s the thing, he was everyone’s cheerleader each and every game. Sure he was there to cheer his daughter but some of the loudest noises and applause I ever heard when I had a great game were from Jim. He always made me feel so accomplished and loved. I will miss is smile and his laughter but I do know that he is looking out for his while “team” from above.

Ernie and Sharon Biell

Our sympathy to Jim’s family.Jim was a great boss and friend when I worked for him at Tobins in Oconomowoc.He was a big help to us when my husband was going to dental school at Marquette. We will always remember his kindness and friendship to our whole family.

The Ernest and Sharon Biel and family

Patti Halbach

Hipps – you were always one of my favorite volleyball families. Jim was such a great fan.

Kiki Schiestle

Dear Lori, Kasey, and family,

My Dad saw Jim’s obituary in the Burlington paper, and let me know. I am so sorry for your loss. I have so many fond memories of spending time with your family, growing up. He was such an open, loving, and accepting man. And so much fun. My thoughts and prayers are with you all.

Kristin Schiestle

One Comment

  1. thomas mccourt July 11, 2022 at 10:47 am - Reply

    To Lori, Mike, Steve, Kasey and the friends of Jim Hipp
    Submitted by Tom McCourt
    January 13, 2015

    Today, it’s my hope that everyone is bestowed a blessing in one’s life that Jim Hipp has been for me, and I know for many others. For me, Jim may have been the single greatest positive force to enable me to reach dreams that were once beyond my imagination. He has been the role model, mentor, and catalyst that shaped my life as a parent, husband, professional, friend, and man.

    He is the celestial being referred to in the Celestine Prophecy that simply radiates and gives positive energy to others. You just felt better being in his presence to share a cup of coffee, a conversation, and yes, even a beer. Jim also associated himself with likeminded friends; He was a friendship magnet, who attracted some of the finest people I know as his close friends.
    I am sitting on a jet out of Boston racing back to Wisconsin to share a moment to honor this man with his family and friends and experiencing every emotion imaginable from sadness and thankfulness to laughter and joy with a kaleidoscope of life-images racing through my mind. Reliving memories of the Hipp homes on Church, Paganica, Highridge and Water; times shared behind the pharmacy counters at Tobin’s, early morning golf league, ski instructing, and of course, the Badger tailgates.

    Jim was a pillar of strength for me during times of personal crisis during my adolescence, the Tobin break-up, my career change, and divorce. Jim and Lori took me into their home during a very troubling time in my life that helped me get my rudder back in the water.

    He inspired me to look at the world with optimism rather than skepticism and enlightened me with the concept to choose a profession that will be your obsession that helped eliminate my self-imposed barriers and unleashed my potential.

    And, he is actually the first man I know who ever told me he loved me

    Time passes bye quickly and there were periods we did not interact directly, but he always managed to stay connected through my siblings, friends and even as a pharmacist at Walgreens looking after my son.

    More recently, Jim, Lori and Kasey visited Boston creating an opportunity to reconnect, and for Dorene and I to share our life with them. It was a blast, as if we had seen each other the week before. As Jim and I parted in Boston he hugged me and told me he was very proud of my achievements, but most important the life we have created together. It simply melted my heart!!!

    Jim Hipp was the most genuine, sincere, reliable, kindest, and trusted friend one could ever hope to stand next to in life. But, above all he was a masterful, nurturing and loving husband, father and grandfather. I have never met a more dedicated husband and parent who was more proud of his wife and family.

    His children and grandchildren are now his legacy and as one observes Mike, Steve and Kasey you can see Jim’s magic glowing from and around them.

    Jim leaves this world with a sense of accomplishment, comfort and peace few will ever experience.

    God bless him on his journey. I know his spirit is still blazing within me and all of us today.

    Tom McCourt

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