Olive Lippoldt, 2nd-grade teacher


As Olive Marie Lippoldt lay dying in Pocomoke City, she filled her Bible with prayers for other people.

"Most people, when they have a terminal illness, they get wrapped up in their own pain and suffering," said her brother, Edward "Mark" Dunker. "But we found infinite lists of people she was praying for on a regular basis, more people than pages in the Bible."

Mrs. Lippoldt, a second-grade teacher whose curly black hair, blue eyes and round, gentle face made an impression on everyone she met, succumbed to ovarian cancer at her Front Street home Monday. She was 64.

"She was so well-known around here that just having her with me helped get votes," said her husband Curt Lippoldt, Pocomoke City's mayor since 1986. "Everybody loved her."

The former Ollie Dunker wanted to be a teacher since she was 2/3 2/3 TC child in Glen Burnie, where her father owned the local ice factory.

And although Mark Dunker was her favorite make-believe student in those days, his most vivid picture of his older sister came once a year, every spring.

"Every Easter morning, she'd take me hand-in-hand and walk six blocks to a nursery to buy a flower for our mother before we went looking for a single egg," Mr. Dunker said. "She used her own money until I was old enough to have an allowance and chip in."

A graduate of Glen Burnie High School, Mrs. Lippoldt took piano lessons at the Peabody Conservatory in Baltimore and received her teaching certificate from the old Towson State College in 1952. Before that, she took nursing courses at what was then University Hospital.

"On weekends, we would take the train into the city from Glen Burnie for a nurse's aide program," said Nancy Keen, who had known Mrs. Lippoldt since the sixth grade. "After class, we would walk to the Hippodrome to see live shows. I was the one who wanted to be a nurse, but she went along with me."

During college, Ollie Dunker met Curt Lippoldt at St. Alban's Episcopal Church in Glen Burnie. They were married in 1954 and lived in Arbutus for two years. Mr. Lippoldt worked for the Western Auto company and the couple's two children were born when he was assigned to a store in Kansas City, Mo.

After living for a time in North Edison, N.J., the family moved to Pocomoke City in 1971.

Mrs. Lippoldt, fond of cats, birds and the history of the war between the states, retired as a second-grade teacher at Pocomoke City Elementary School in 1993.

"I taught the eighth grade, and the children who had had Ollie still talked about her and wrote her letters. She inspired everybody who knew her, in teaching and also in battling cancer," said Diane Kerbin, a friend of 25 years. "She lived her faith."

In Pocomoke City, Mrs. Lippoldt was a lifetime member and past president of the Soroptimists International club, a 74-year-old women's benevolent society that built the Hartley House nursing home there.

"When people die, their friends usually say kind things, but in this case it's true," said Beulah Baylis, a charter Soroptimist.

Services were to be held at 11 a.m. today at St. Mary the Virgin Episcopal Church on Market Street in Pocomoke City.

Mrs. Lippoldt is also survived by a son, Douglas C. Lippoldt of Paris; a daughter, Valerie Marie Woods of Salisbury; two other brothers, Elisha Walker Dunker Jr. and Robert L.M. Dunker, both of Glen Burnie; and three grandchildren.

Memorial donations may be made to St. Mary the Virgin Episcopal Church, P.O. Box 383, Pocomoke City 21851.

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