Mrs. Estella Marie Garay Lipps was born on November 4th, 1939 in Oklahoma City at St. Anthony’s Hospital to Velda Ar’Lowynee Garay. She grew up in central Oklahoma City with her mother and grandmother and attended Central High School. As a CHS Cardinal, she was a cheerleader and she was active in the Civil Air Patrol, where she made some of her best friends. Estella graduated high school in 1957 and then attended the University of Oklahoma where she earned a scholarship to study in Guatemala City, Guatemala. She returned to OU with plans to study medicine, anthropology or Spanish but instead joined the US Air Force and became a member of the Woman’s Air Corp in 1959 and was stationed at Travis AFB in central California. There she encountered a young airman who extended his hand to her on a hike up Mount Diablo just east of San Francisco Bay and decided to marry her true love of 54 years Leonard Ray Lipps.
After her service in the Air Force, she returned to Oklahoma City and went to Central State College and graduated in 1969, with a BA in Political Science. Estella was a voracious reader and enjoyed reading a broad spectrum of works, and read over 5,000 books. Her favorite author is science fiction writer, Andre Norton. She also enjoyed all movies and one of her favorites was “The Monster that Challenged the World” which she watched often. She was moved by the movie “Signs” and “Wall-E” and saw the elegance and simplicity of the original “War of the Worlds”. She did not care much for movies with violent battle scenes, particularly of wars, for as a mother of four sons that was a little too close to reality. She also enjoyed television and her recent favorite shows were “Madam President” and “the Big Bang Theory”.
She enjoyed geology as a hobby, collected over 150 music boxes, and over 70 plus years became a very proficient home maker, schedule organizer, cook of exotic dishes, explorer of new subjects, crochet, stained glass, candle making, crossword puzzles, and so many more. She and her husband Leonard, spent 43 years in North Edmond. Their lives became seamlessly intertwined, centered on their sons and their marriage. Completing each other’s sentences, happening upon the same thoughts while in different places, they represented what was best and true about two people becoming one. As empty nesters they enjoyed long road trips to conduct genealogy research and discover hidden site-seeing treasures throughout the state and Southwest. While not completely congruent with each other’s politics, spirituality and approach to life, they always remained mutually respectful and supportive of each other. Together in 1984, they opened one of the first video stores in Oklahoma City called Video Etc., at Penn and Hefner. Together they managed and ran the store for eight years where she made friends with many customers.
In addition she delivered newspapers for the Daily Oklahoman in Edmond getting up at 5:30AM seven days a week for 10 years. Estella raised four sons and is survived by, Ray, Alan, and Mike of the Oklahoma City area and Keith of Colorado Springs, CO. She was a Cub Scout Den Mother, manager of wrestlers, baseball players, and every other sport and activity, long before the use of cell phones and emails. She pushed her sons to study and taught them how to do their own work to learn and succeed on their own. She endured each of their peculiarities and interest and attempted to open many areas of interest (i.e. piano lessons, dance lessons, cultural dishes, etc.,) to them regardless if they had the wits to understand or appreciate. She helped her sons see the bigger picture of their interests by helping them expand their views and challenging them on what they had accepted as true. She had both a deft and subtle approach as well as a sledge hammer approach to making her point and regardless of the end of the conversation you always came away a little wiser.
She had three beautiful daughters-in-law and is survived by, Kelly and Lorry of Edmond, OK and Camille of Colorado Springs, CO with whom she shared her greatest possessions and loved them as if they were her own daughters. She had 5 grandchildren and is survived by, Makenzie, Rilee, Sean, Isabella and Bentley whom she adored and loved and was always overwhelmed with joy when she saw them. She always saw in them the best and a world and future full of hope and beauty.
Her husband of 54 years, Leonard, will miss her every day. We will all miss her, every day. We love you mom.
Services will be held at 10:00 a.m. on Monday, June 29th at Matthews Funeral Home Chapel with interment to follow at Rose Hill Burial Park.
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