John Lee Tripp, Sr. transitioned from this earthly life to his heavenly home on August 17, 2020 in the presence of his loving family.
John Lee Tripp, Sr. was born on August 28, 1932 to the late Alonzo and Lillian Tripp in Edenton, North Carolina. At eighteen years old, he met Dorothy Ruth Pierce while she was visiting family in Edenton. They were married and began a great love affair for sixty-six years.
With the help of his nephew, Robert Tripp, Dad received his GED from the Norfolk Public School System. He held his first full- time job at nine years old as a Fisherman. He also worked as a Personal Driver. In 1952, he worked at Batton and Pickle in Edenton, North Carolina. In 1953, they moved to Norfolk, Virginia. His twin brother, affectionately known as Jimmy Lee, was instrumental in getting Dad a job at Associated Transport as a Checker and later a driver in 1956. In 1960, Dad moved the family to Chesapeake, Virginia. He continued to work at Associate Transport for twenty-four years until they closed their doors in 1980. He also worked at Roadway and Yellow Freight Companies part time to full time for seven years. Dad retired from Yellow Freight Company January 1, 1990.
Dad served in the Brotherhood Ministry at New Calvary Baptist Church and was also elected as president. In 1986, he received an award from the Brotherhood for his “Outstanding Service.” Also, he helped to coordinate and served in the Senior Funeral Choir for five years. In 1990, Dad joined the Southside Civic League helping to elect the First Black Mayor of Chesapeake. He worked tireless hours in the community to help develop the Neighborhood Watch. Due to his failing health he became less active in the Civic League.
He was the Patriarch of the Tripp Family. Our father has been a blessing not only to the seven of us, but to the community also. He was a surrogate to hundreds of young men and women. In return, they gave him the nickname, “The Great Pops” and later another nickname, “Main Man.” Though our oldest brother left the nest in the early 70’s, his peers continued to visit for the next five decades. Dad had the loving tone of counseling guidance, wisdom, and the gift of gab. He was affectionately known as a Card- ologist. He taught all his friends and family how to socialize using a deck of cards as they played Bid Whist and Spades. Anyone down on their luck, Dad always tried to give a helping hand. He always looked for the positive attitude with a big smile. He made everyone welcome to his home with constant love. He touched so many people’s lives using the word of God. Dad’s favorite poem was called “IF” by Rudyard Kipling. Our Dad loved becoming Educated. Dad earned Ten College Degrees. Through it all, Dad always said, “I’M ON THE WINNING SIDE.”
He was preceded in death by his wife, Dorothy Ruth Tripp; His daughter, Althea Tripp; His siblings: May Thomas Tripp, Patrick Tripp, Katie Tripp Jordan, Fannie Tripp Brantley, James Tripp, Alonzo Tripp, Annie Jane Tripp Hill, and Frances Collins.
His precious memories will live forever in the hearts of his four loving sons: John Lee Tripp, Jr. (Judith), Boise, Idaho, Patrick Henry Tripp ( Genitia), Fairburn, Georgia, Retired Lieutenant Colonel Vencent Windell Tripp ( Mary), Hutto, Texas, and Duncan Alexander Tripp, Chesapeake, Virginia; Two devoted daughters: Teresa Tripp Whitehurst and Denise Tripp Gipson, both of Chesapeake, Virginia; His loving nephews: Robert Tripp (Ola), Virginia Beach, Virginia and Nicholas T. Josey, Dorchester, Massachusetts; His devoted great niece, Rhonda Perry, Portsmouth, Virginia; Four granddaughters: Joy Hodnett, Katrina Tripp, Leandrea Tripp, and Patricia Brown; Four grandsons: Patrick Louis Tripp, John Isaiah Tripp, Yedail Whitehurst, III, and Lashawn A. Gipson; Three great granddaughters: Juanesha Simmons, Chiffon Simmons, and Amari Grace Tripp; Three great grandsons: Tyshawn Simmons, Kollin Brown, and Kristian Brown; Two god daughters: Songbirds, Barbara Rogers Parker, Chesapeake, Virginia ”How I Got Over” and Jacqueline Lewis, Oxen Hills, Maryland; One god son, Smallwood Holoman, Jr., Saginaw, Michigan and a host of loving family and friends.