Community activist, educator, great-grandmother
Longtime Claremont resident, civic advocate, pre-school director, neighbor, and loving wife, mother, sister and grandmother Maralyn Tipping died of natural causes at Pomona Valley Community Hospital on April 23. She was 84.
Born Maralyn Brown on March 1, 1935 in Los Angeles, she was raised in Laguna Beach, graduating from Laguna Beach High in 1952.
During summers she studied ballet with the San Francisco Ballet Company until she traveled east to study in Iowa State University’s famed textiles and clothing program. While studying at Iowa State and swimming on the school’s synchronized swimming team, the Naiads, she met her future husband, Dick Tipping.
Maralyn and Dick married in 1958 and started their family soon after. They moved to Claremont in 1963, where her mother had been the 1930-31 Claremont High School class president and both her parents had graduated from Pomona College.
Why Claremont? “It was a great college town for her growing family, a new home near Wheeler Park with dozens of other young couples, and a washing machine that didn’t have to be manually cranked,” her family shared.
Raising her children Dave, Steve, Tim and Lyn, Mrs. Tipping actively participated in Claremont’s public school programs and diverse volunteer organizations.
In 1975, as many Claremont citizens mobilized to protect Sycamore School from a Claremont school board budget cut, she was elected as one of two community CUSD board candidates in a special recall election. Serving two elected terms until 1982, she helped save Sycamore School, enrich CUSD’s education opportunities for every student, and answer to principal’s calls regarding a son or two.
She also delighted in serving as teacher, board president, and long term director of the preschool at Claremont United Methodist Church, where she developed a highly successful parent participation program. She loved every one of her young charges and joyed in welcoming new parents into the school.
After raising her family, she returned to school herself and earned an additional degree in early childhood development. She was often stopped at Trader Joe’s, downtown Claremont, or church by preschool parents or their adult children thanking her for enriching their early childhood.
In recognition of Mrs. Tipping’s education leadership, she served on the Southern California Association for the Education of Children and as president of the Tri-County Child Care Directors Association. She was awarded the honorary life achievement award from the California Council of Parent Participation Nursery Schools.
The Tippings retired to Pilgrim Place’s vibrant community in 2013 and soon realized that retirement was more like summer camp on spin dry. She relished the spiritual and intellectual opportunities that Pilgrim Place offered while still being an active member of the Claremont United Methodist Church and enjoying her grandchildren.
Mrs. Tipping is celebrated by her husband of 61 years, Dick; sons Dave, Steve and Tim and daughter, Lyn, and their spouses Gracia, Sherry, Maria and Denny; grandchildren Travis, Tyler, Henry, Ryan, Bay, Elizabeth, Jack, Alayna and Samantha; great-grandson Constantine; siblings Kittie, Jack and his spouse Margaret; and countless friends and neighbors.
Maralyn Tipping’s memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. on Saturday, May 4 at Claremont United Methodist Church, 211 W. Foothill Blvd., Claremont.
In lieu of flowers, please consider donating to Physicians for Social Responsibility at psr.org, or the Claremont Educational Foundation at supportcef.com.
“It’s okay, son, to start your day with a piece of pie” —Maralyn Tipping