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Memorial service for Al Hipps, father of InterMat owners, slated for Wednesday

Al Hipps portrait, and with his three sons who would take the helm of amateur wrestling website InterMat
Al Hipps portrait, and with his three sons who would take the helm of amateur wrestling website InterMatPortrait of Alan George Hipps from the Minneapolis Star-Tribune; with three sons from Andrew Hipps Facebook; logo from InterMat

A memorial service for Alan Hipps, father of InterMat owners Jeremy and Andrew Hipps and mixed martial arts columnist for the amateur wrestling website, will be held Wednesday, the “Minneapolis Star-Tribune” reported Monday.

The memorial celebrations will be held Wednesday, July 30 at 10 a.m. Central at Fort Snelling Memorial Chapel in the Twin Cities. Visitation will be held Tuesday, July 29 from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Washburn-McReavy Funeral Home in Eden Prairie, Minn.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be offered to the Cholangiocarcinoma Foundation or the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum.

Alan George Hipps passed away in his home in Chaska, Minn. last Wednesday, July 23. He was surrounded by his family, including his life partner Joanne Hipps, and sons Jeremy, Jon and Andrew.

Hipps was born April 4, 1949 to Robert O. and Donna Hipps in Troy, Ohio. He graduated from Edina High School in suburban Minneapolis in 1967.

In 1968, Hipps voluntarily joined the US Army. He served in the 4th Infantry “Poison Ivy” Division in the Central Highlands of South Vietnam in 1969-70. As a Staff Sergeant, Hipps was awarded the Bronze Star and Air Medal for outstanding service.

After completing his service in Vietnam, Hipps attended Iowa State University, were he graduated in 1973 with a degree in landscape architecture. He went on to have a 40-year career as a landscape architect within the Twin Cities, with his own business, Nature’s Way, and as a partner with Gardeneer.

Hipps was an avid sportsman and sports fan. One of his favorite sports was mixed martial arts. He wrote a number of columns for InterMat, previewing upcoming Ultimate Fighting Championships events and making predictions of fight outcomes under the moniker “The UFC Monster.” He and his sons attended more than 20 UFC events throughout the US.

Al Hipps also had a passion for baseball. He took his sons on annual baseball trips across the US to attend games at various Major League Baseball stadiums.

In a tribute to his father posted at Facebook, son Andrew Hipps, senior writer and editor for InterMat, wrote, “I'm going to miss you, Dad. You revealed to me the meaning of true love by the way you loved our entire family. Thanks for all the wonderful memories. I'll never forget the annual baseball trips across the country and all the time we spent together as a family. It was an honor to be your youngest son and journey through life learning from the best man I've ever known.”

Even though both of us have written for InterMat, I never had the honor of meeting Al Hipps in person. That being the case, he never failed to openly express his thanks and appreciation when College Wrestling Examiner would write about his UFC previews for InterMat. Judging from the qualities embodied in his sons, Alan George Hipps was a great father.