Ian B. Tippet, former Many Glacier Hotel manager and a 63-year employee of Glacier Park, Inc. (now named Pursuit) died of natural causes March 9 at his home in Phoenix, Arizona. He was 88. In addition to serving as the innovative and popular manager of Many Glacier Hotel, Tippet was also the concessioner’s head of personnel. His funeral home obituary can be found here.
I apologize for the delay in posting this information. I have been waiting for a news story about Tippet’s passing to appear in a Montana newspaper such as the Hungry Horse News, The Daily Interlake, or the Flathead Beacon. Apparently, none of them seems to know that he died. I presume his former employer doesn’t know it either for they probably would have issued a news release and caught the media’s attention.
My frustration comes from the fact that people in Northwestern Montana who knew Mr. Tippet and/or who knew of his work on behalf of Many Glacier Hotel’s long-time music programs for guests, should be told that a major participant and leader in the Glacier National Park community has died. Yet, I have no official status as a spokesperson so cannot officially contact the press.
Ian B. Tippet hired me as a Many Glacier Hotel bellman in 1963 and 1964. His expertise got Many Glacier Hotel open on schedule in spite of the devastating Montana flood of 1964. I was part of a skeleton staff that arrived early that summer and got swept up in the clean-up effort while the hotel was cut off from the rest of the world due to a washed-out road. I last saw him in Glacier Park in 2013, the 50th anniversary of my arrival as a seasonal employee. We talked for quite a while in spite of his busy schedule at Glacier Park Lodge that year.
We didn’t agree on everything, but I believe he was Many Glacier Hotel’s best manager, both old school service and new-ideas innovative; I doubt we will ever see anyone with his vision and competence again at any of the park’s concessioners–perhaps forever.
Finally, some news coverage: https://hungryhorsenews.com/news/2020/mar/18/ian-tippet-longtime-glacier-park-figure-dies/
4 thoughts on “Former Many Glacier Hotel Manager, Ian B. Tippet Dies at 88”
I can see he meant a lot to you. And the hotel too. It is the central setting in your Sun Singer books, yes?
Why don’t you send this blog post to the newspapers you mention and see if they pick up on it?
Good to die of natural (and hopefully quick!) causes at a ripe old age, knowing that you’ve Done Good (as Ian Tippet obviously did).
Yes, my work in Glacier Park led to The Sun Singer and Sarabande. I did contact one of the newspapers I mentioned to let them know he died. Maybe they’ll research and write an appropriate news story. Unfortunately, those who know and who should have contacted the press didn’t do it.
I worked for GPL in 1951-52, & again in 1960-61 & after retirement in 1989-91,92 so saw Mr. T. often. I have many photos of him & a letter from him dated 12/26/61 asking me to come back, but I couldn’t at that time. In 2010 a friend and I had coffee with him in employee’s mess & have photo of that time. He was a “Glacier Legend” & I shared his love of Glacier Park. I also admired long time natives Doris & Terry Sherburne who owned the “Mountain Pine” motel .
How wonderful that you were about to see him a number of times after you were no longer working at East. I saw him mostly in the 1970s/80s when I visited Many. He had a very large impact on the hotels and their clientele. Many Glacier was trying to bring back some of the music before GP Inc. lost the hotel to Xanterra. My. T. hated that, thought the hotels should all be together under the same management.
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