Kevin Earl Dayhoff Art One-half Banana Stems

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Friday, October 18, 2013

Carroll loses links to its past in Ruth Leppo and Elmer Lippy [Eagle Archives]

Carroll loses links to its past in Ruth Leppo and Elmer Lippy [Eagle Archives]

By Kevin Dayhoff, October 16, 2013
In the past week the Carroll County community has lost two storied and celebrated links to our past. Elmer C. Lippy, Jr., 93, of Manchester, died Oct. 13 at the Long View Nursing Home in Manchester. Ruth Ellen Leppo, 75, of Westminster, died Oct. 12 at the Carroll Lutheran Village Health Care Center.

Leppo was a substitute teacher for many years at Westminster and Elmer Wolfe Elementary Schools. Moreover she was well-known and beloved by much of the law enforcement community as the wife of the late, long-serving Westminster Police Chief, Sam Leppo, who died at the age of 53 in an off-duty automobile accident on Aug. 4, 1999.

Lippy’s long-standing tenure as an elected official was chronicled in a March 30, 1999 article in the Baltimore Sun: “Lippy has served split stints as mayor and one term as county commissioner since retiring in 1985 as a senior chemist with Lever Bros. in Baltimore. A Democrat, he served on the Town Council for two years before his election as mayor in 1987. He won his second four-year term in 1995, defeating his second cousin for the job. Lippy was a county commissioner from 1990 to 1994. He lost his bid for a second term in 1994 and ran unsuccessfully for Orphan's Court judge last fall….”

Stop and think of any great Carroll Countian that has gone on before us, and remember that history is often the sanitized and romanticized version of difficult events, in which ordinary folks stepped up to do extraordinary things.  Their accomplishments are the stuff of legend, but their day-to-day struggle to make a difference was the stuff of great sacrifice.

Carroll County has been fortunate to have many native sons and daughters who made a difference in our community. Ruth Leppo and Elmer Lippy are remembered fondly as great community leaders who forged links from the past and influenced our future. I had the distinct honor and privilege of having worked with both individuals.

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