24 Aug

>Donald E. Tipsword, a Shooter’s Friend

Steven K. Ledin,


I lost one of the best friends I will ever have yesterday morning. Donald E. Tipsword was a mentor to many, including me. He taught me a lot under his wing. He introduced me to the Masonic fraternity and employed me as a private investigator for a dozen years. I legally carried concealed weapons in Illinois in a non-law enforcement capacity, which is pretty much unheard of. I have Don to thank for a lot of what I am now. His wife and he got along as well as My Shirley and I do, which is remarkable in itself. He was a pilot and owned airplanes, motorcycles, boats, and everything else you could think of. He was a big man with a class A personality. He had every interest you could think of and excelled at them all. He really threw himself into things. He became an auctioneer to help his friends down on their luck in the farming community. He was a very successful business man. We hunted and shot and fished together. He used to fly my wife down to his farm for weekends where everybody was welcome to skinny dip and enjoy each other’s company. My heart goes out to Barbara Jean, who couldn’t have had a more shining knight in her life. God took him unexpectedly at 58 years of age. I will miss my friend badly and pray for him every day. Tough times, indeed. God bless Don and all who miss him. I can’t believe he won’t be calling me too late in the evening anymore. I’ve never had a friend like him, and it wasn’t always easy. That was part of his charm.

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