Robert E. Lipscomb, a retired millwright who was a guiding force behind Chip House, a halfway house for recovering alcoholics in Charles Village, died Wednesday of a heart condition at his home in Parkville. He was 73.
Mr. Lipscomb was born and raised in Baltimore, joined the merchant marine when he was 16 and served in the Air Force during the Korean War.
For many years, he operated his business servicing and repairing large conveyer belts at power plants and manufacturing operations, including Bethlehem Steel Corp. and Delmarva Power and Light.
After he closed the business, Mr. Lipscomb found work as a millwright at various sites, including nuclear power plants.
Mr. Lipscomb was a member of Millwrights Local 1548, United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America.
A recovering alcoholic, Mr. Lipscomb was a longtime board member of Chip House. He dated his sobriety to July 1, 1961, and regularly attended meetings of Alcoholics Anonymous.
"I would have to say that sobriety was his No. 1 priority, knowing that without his sobriety there was nothing else," said a son, Sean Lipscomb of Belcamp.
A graveside service will be held at 10 a.m. tomorrow at Parkwood Cemetery, 3310 Taylor Ave., Parkville.
He is also survived by his wife of 30 years, the former Carole Dockendorff; two other sons, Robert "Bobby" Lipscomb of Baltimore and Steven Lipscomb of Vacaville, Calif.; a daughter, Deborah Lipscomb of Baltimore; three stepsons, Andrew Calder of Abingdon, William Calder of Shrewsbury, Pa., and Jerry Calder of Jarrettsville; a stepdaughter, Cathleen Moylan of Parkville; and 12 grandchildren.