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Konstantin Wipp

k wipp

15 November 1912 - 3 August 2012
Conference Cane: 2005
Age at death: 99 years, 8 months

Rev. Konstantin Wipp

Konstantin was born on the island of Saaremma, Estonia on November 15, 1912, a son of the late Martin and Sophia (Lember) Wipp, where he lived for the first 4 years of his life. His family lived with Grandma and Grandpa Wipp as his father was drafted into the Russian army. He started school at the age of 8, going six days a week, but having 4 months off in the summer to work on the family farm. At the age of 14 Kon took over the family garden and still enjoyed gardening into his retirement. At 17 he became interested in religion and at 18 joined the Methodist church despite his family being Russian orthodox. In 1936 he began university studies learning to speak English and Russian, preaching part time in preparation of seminary. While there he met his future wife Engla, they were married on Feb. 8, 1940 later followed by the birth of their daughter, Tiiu. In 1944 Kon was drafted into the German army but due to illness never had to fight for the Germans. On Sept. 21, 1944 he was captured by the German Marines and sent to a prison camp. He escaped to Sweden on a Navy ship, entered into Scandinavian seminary, graduated in 1947. In 1948 he was ordained as a minister in the Swedish Conference of the Methodist Church. During that time his wife died of TB and his daughter was raised by her aunt. Kon came to the United States through New York on July 1, 1949. Kon came to Michigan to be near a friend in the Upper Peninsula and served there until his retirement in 1978. It was there he met his future wife Ethel (Newberg) Hill, and they were married on August 2, 1953. He is survived by his daughters Tiiu of Estonia (they were reunited in 1991) and Sandra (William) Mannisto; a son Dan; seven grandchildren and several great grandchildren. Kon died at the Omega House in Houghton on Friday August 3, 2012 3 months shy of his 100th birthday. When he died he was the holder of the “Conference Cane” award to the oldest living pastor still residing within the Detroit Annual Conference.

- Detroit Annual Conference minutes of 2013, p. 302