Tippet family shares grief of the Kennedys

By KYLE THOMPSON  |  November 23 1963
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DALLAS, Nov. 23, 1963 (UPI) - There is another funeral, another grief-stricken family. Mrs. J.D. Tippet shares with Jacqueline Kennedy the sorrow of widowhood, for her husband was slain too.

One man is charged with their deaths. But there all similarity ends.

President Kennedy was a man of history and wealth.

J.D. Tippet, 39, made $490 a month as a policeman to support his wife and three children. He had no insurance. The city provides none.

Tippet was shot and killed on a Dallas street while pursuing President Kennedy's accused assassin.

His careworn widow and their children, Allen, 14, Brenda Kay, 10, and Curtiss Glenn, 5, live in a neat suburban area of medium brick homes on the southern edge of Dallas. She is 36.

"Daddy had just come home for lunch at 11:30 (a.m.). He had a sandwich and some milk before he went back to duty," Mrs. Tippet said.

"Then the next thing I heard was that he was dead."

Mrs. Tippet said she "certainly knows" how Mrs. Kennedy feels. She said the slain president's brother, Atty. Gen. Robert Kennedy, called her last night.

"He said he was calling on behalf of Mrs. Kennedy," Mrs. Tippet said. "He expressed their sympathy and sorrow over our loss. I told him to express my concern to Mrs. Kennedy and to tell her I certainly know how she feels."

Mrs. Tippet said she was grateful for the thoughtfulness of the Kennedys in calling their concern.

Mrs. Tippet's neat, three-bedroom home was filled with friends and relatives. Food in abundance was spread over tables and the kitchen sink. Her children, surrounded by friends, were eating lunch quietly.

"I just don't know how we'll get along without him," Mrs. Tippet said of her slain husband. "He was such a good man - he was so good to the children.

"This comes at such a crucial time in their lives. The oldest boy - he's 14 - needs the guiding hand of a man so much now. I just don't know ... "

Mrs. Tippet choked with emotion as she told of events leading up to her husband's death.

"As a husband and father he was a very good man," she said. "He was a good Christian man." The Tippets are members of the Beckley Hills Baptist Church in the South Oak Cliff section of Dallas.

"It's the kids who will be hit the hardest," she said. "He was so good to them. They loved him so. And I respected him so much. I sort of depended on his level-headed thinking ... I don't know what will happen now."

Tippet had been a member of the Dallas police force for 11 years.

A spokesman for Dallas police said the widow would receive some money from the police retirement fund.

Tippet had several brushes with violence. He carried a broken ice pick in his knee, from an attacker. An enraged man's pistol once misfired in his face.

His widow said Tippet was "a good police officer. He worked hard at his job. I guess you could say he really liked his work ... he always felt like he was doing some good."

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