John Tripp – The Sun Sopris
July 18, 1919 – June 3, 2022
John Tripp, longtime Carbondale resident, died June 3 at the age of 102 in a new place filled with old friends and loved ones. John was born in Waterbury, Connecticut on July 28, 1919, where he lived until World War II brought change for many, including John.
He enlisted in the army in Hartford, Connecticut on October 14, 1942. After a short stint in the Army Air Corp, he joined the 87th Mountain Infantry Regiment which brought him to Camp Hale. In the summer of 1943, his regiment set out to liberate Kiska in the Aleutian Islands. After this mission he returned to Camp Hale where the 87th merged with the newly formed 10th Mountain Division. A long period of training at Camp Hale was followed by the Division’s expedition to confront the German army in northern Italy. During this offensive, John was injured, receiving the Purple Heart and Bronze Star medals.
While training at Camp Hale, John met and married Irene Walker. Eight months after the war ended, John returned to Colorado to reunite with Irene and her daughter, Judy. John and Irene settled in Denver where they added three boys to the family, Jon, Larry and Bill.
John and Irene’s love of the mountains has taken them skiing, camping and hiking in and around Leadville and Aspen, in particular. Traveling from Denver to Aspen, they planned to settle in Carbondale, where they could enjoy waking up each morning to a view of Mount Sopris. Their dream of moving to Carbondale came true in 1969 after they bought land and built a house.
John had many jobs in the valley where he made many friends, young and old, whom he and Irene treasured. They also traveled extensively, visiting all seven continents. They spent a lot of time in Provence, France, where John could speak and improve his French.
John lived a long and full life. His mind was sharp and he was vibrant in his thoughts and conversation until the end. Among his contributions to the Carbondale community, John provided an oral history to the Roaring Fork Veterans History Project in association with the Library of Congress in 2007; and he has been interviewed many times for various articles and videos sharing a proud story.
John was predeceased by his wife Irene, parents, two sisters and son-in-law Jim Briscoe.
John is survived by his four children: Judy Briscoe, Paonia; Jon, Carbondale; Larry, basalt; and Bill (Jill) Durango; also his brother-in-law Jerry Walker, Tualatin, Oregon; seven grandchildren; 11 great-grandchildren and two great-great-grandchildren; several nieces, nephews and friends.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the 10th Mountain Foundation (10thmountainfoundation.org) or Aspen Public Radio in its name. A celebration of John’s life will be held July 17 at Sopris Park between 1 and 4 p.m.
“I love nature, it’s the best we have.” –John Tripp, 2018.