Dale Howard and Lou Ann's Story
After nearly 60 years of marriage, Dale Howard Tripp and Lou Ann Tripp left this world within moments of each other days before the Christmas holiday, and joined one another to spend eternity in heaven. Dale was born on Aug. 13, 1936, in Blackwell and Lou Ann on Sept. 9, 1937, in Tulsa.
Dale attended high school in Blackwell, graduating in 1954. His next step was to join the U.S. Army and serve until 1957, with a tour of Cold War torn Korea from 1955-1956.
As for Lou Ann, she graduated high school in Duncan in 1955, attending Oklahoma College for Women in Chickasha following graduation.
Upon returning from Korea, Dale was stationed in Fort Sill. Joining a friend on a trip to Chickasha, Dale was about to have his life changed forever. While at the student union at OCW, a young woman playing pool caught Dale's eye, and he introduced himself to her. Two dates later, the pair decided they wanted to get married. Dale wed the young woman, Lou Ann Harmon, on August 31, 1957.
Shortly before the wedding, Dale was separated from active duty and enrolled at Oklahoma State University as a Forestry major. The next summer, he worked for the U.S. Forest Service in California, arriving back home on the first wedding anniversary to his eight-month pregnant bride.
Lou Ann gave birth to their first child, Kristy Dea, on Sept. 23, 1958. Just under two years later, they had a second child, Steven Howard, on June 3, 1960. Dale and Lou Ann lived in Dallas, Oklahoma City and Kansas City over the next thirty plus years, Dale working in the insurance industry in addition to other jobs, and Lou Ann caring for the children.
After the passing of his father in autumn of 1991, Dale and Lou Ann moved to the family farm in Nardin a couple years afterward, helping his mother maintain the farm until her death nearly a decade later. He retired in 1997 and spent the rest of his life caring for his farm, and more importantly, his bride.
Lou Ann was stricken with polio as a child, and diagnosed with Charcot-Marie Tooth disease, an incurable disorder that damages nerves in the legs and arms. Between these, she had a trying adolescence, and would be affected by them later in life. While Dale worked, she raised the children, and took care of Dale. She was a superb housekeeper, and had skills in the kitchen that frequently left those who were lucky enough to enjoy her cooking wondering how she did it, which she usually responded with a shrug and a smile.
She had a fairly unassuming demeanor, but was smart as a whip and had the quick wit to boot. Both her husband, children and grandchildren bore witness to this on hundreds of occasions.
Unfortunately, the maladies she'd suffered early in life took their toll, and by her mid sixties, she was virtually wheel-chair bound. In a reversal of roles, Dale took over many of the household chores and caretaking responsibilities of his bride. He maintained several hobbies, such as wood-working, growing vegetables in his garden, making crystal radios and model airplanes and maintaining relationships with many folks in the community, offering insight and assistance whenever it was needed. But regardless of all of that, his bride always came first. As her physical abilities deteriorated, his efforts for her increased. And he always did it, never with a complaint, but always with a smile and reminder of how much he loved his bride after all their years together.
Dale was preceded in death by his parents, Foster Howard and G. Helene Tripp; and his brother Joseph Wesley Tripp. Lou Ann was preceded in death by her parents, Abram Ellis and Mabel Ruth Harmon.
They are survived by Lou Ann's sister, Iva Jo Tindle of Duncan; two children: daughter Kristy Dea Kaminski of Kansas City, Missouri; son Steven Howard Tripp and wife Gretchen of Clearlake, Florida; and three grandchildren: Duncan Foster Kaminski of Overland Park, Kansas; Jonathon Wesley Kaminski of Overland Park, Kansas; and Marianne Rose Kaminski of Claycomo, Missouri.
Published on January 2, 2017