Delayan Wayne Sipes / Nov. 22, 1925 – Jan. 2, 2010Published 10:55am Wednesday, January 6, 2010
Delayan Wayne Sipes died peacefully Jan. 2, 2010, after a long battle with leukemia.
Del was born Nov. 22, 1925, in Jackson, Mich. to Delavan and Vivian (Fillmore) Sipes.
Del was proud of his career as an educator, first teaching in the Detroit Public Schools and then at Schoolcraft College in Livonia, Mich., where he pioneered the Biomedical Instrumentation Technology program and taught various electronics and science courses for 30 years. As president of the Faculty Forum, he helped bring the “mutual gains” form of negotiation to the college.
Del retired in 1986 as professor emeritus, moving from his home at Wolverine Lake to Paw Paw Lake, Watervliet, Mich. He was active in township boards and committees, eventually earning the sobriquet of “Del Quixote” in this conservative southwest corner of Michigan.
A passionate researcher, writer and environmentalist, Del served for many years as president of the Paw Paw Lake Association, the editor of the Michigan Lake and Streams Newsletter and as president of the Woodland Nature Conservancy. His weekly column, the “Paw Paw Lake Almanac,” was enjoyed by the community for 628 issues of the Tri-City Record.
Del was a proud veteran of the U,S, Navy, serving as a radar operator on the USS Breeze, a mine sweeper, in the Pacific Theater of World War II. He was a graduate of Wayne University and University of Michigan, grateful for the GI Bill of Rights.
Delavan was a deeply spiritual man, but not in the traditional way. He was writing a book based on the teachings of Edgar Cayce, ancient Sumerian and Egyptian scripts and the startling commonality among historical readings around the world. He was also writing vignettes of his childhood, some of which were to be published as a children’s book.
Del is survived by Jean K. Christensen, his love of 26 years; his sister, Eulene Hummel; his children, Gretchen Anderson, Debora Sipes-Burgess, Pamela Borchert, Bennett Sipes, Valerie Rogers, Timothy Sipes, Terry Sipes and their respective spouses; grandchildren, Keith Anderson, Carrie Koffman, Montana Burgess, Lucy Burgess, Adam Borchert, Kelly Borchert, Alex Borchert, Denali Sipes, Logan Sipes and Mimi Sipes; great-grandchildren, Keira Anderson, Noah Koffman-Adsit and Persephone Burgess-Sorge; also Holly Christensen, Laurel (Christensen) Camen, Bari (Christensen) Dilworth, Vanessa Camen and his Animal Aid dogs, Quizzer and Max.
Memorials may be made to the VFW National Home for Children, 3573 S Waverly Rd., Eaton Rapids, MI, 48827 or the Rose Arbor Hospice, 5473 Croyden Ave., Kalamazoo, MI 49009.
Condolences or memories may be e-mailed to the Hutchins Funeral Home at hutchins.home@ sbcbcglobal.net, or mailed to Jean Christensen, 5660 Woodland Ave., Watervliet MI 49098.
A memorial celebration will be held at a later date.