Michael Todd Lipp

Michael Todd Lipp

Oct. 31, 1959 – Nov. 29, 2021

Michael Todd Lipp passed away, at the age of 62, on Nov. 29, 2021, in Salt Lake City, Utah. He was born on Oct. 31, 1959, in McLaughlin, S.D., as the first-born son of Albert Matthew and Elizabeth Lucille (Schmaltz) Lipp. He was quickly joined by his brothers Mark, Jack, and a sister Jayne. As a young child he spent a lot of time on his grandfather’s farm in Mobridge, S.D., where he got his first pony, Punchy, which was the beginning of a lifelong love of horses.

In 1970, the Lipp family moved to Greybull, Wyo.  Mike graduated from Greybull High School in 1978 where he excelled in sports. He wore the number 66 jersey in football where he earned a spot to play in the Shrine Bowl.  He was a local star in basketball where he was known for his jump shot and he often scored over 20 points a game before the 3-point line was invented. He was honored as a Class A West Region all-conference second-team player his senior year and was offered a basketball scholarship to Tulane University.

Mike continued to pursue athletics after graduating by joining a boxing club.  The sport of boxing led him to his future wife, Serena Kay Gilbert, where they met during one of Mike’s training sessions in the old high school gym where they bumped into each other and their story began.  Mike and Serena were married on May 22, 1982, and they were blessed with three sons: Casey, Todd, and Ryan. Through his late boxing coach, Jerry Brown, Mike was able to purchase the ranch that he had dreamed of to raise his family and horses in beautiful Shell Valley known as Valley View Ranch. He always remarked that “it didn’t get any better than this” and was blessed to call the valley home for the rest of his life.

Mike started working for Burlington Northern Railroad in 1978 where he worked for the next 43 years of his life. He was best known for his skills operating machines. His dedication and work ethic lead to being recognized as Employee of the Year in 2010 and he was selected to test machine prototypes. Mike enjoyed the comradery of his many railroad friends throughout the years and truly enjoyed his job.

Mike’s true passion was raising and racing quarter horses. Mike bought his first quarter horse, Nachos, in 1983 and soon began breeding his own horses in 1987. In 2005 he purchased what would become the corner stone of his program, a stallion named Coronas Velvet. His program became synonymous with “VVR” (Valley View Ranch), producing Wyoming All Bred Champions and winners such as VVR Buddys No Fool, VVR Curb Runnin Reena, VVR Dazzling Corona, VVR Corona Cowboy, VVR Sugar Sugar, TDM Big Shooter, among many others. He earned the top Wyoming breeder award in 2019 and 2020 along with the AQHA West/Southwest Champion Breeder in 2020.  He served on the Wyoming All Breeds Racing Association board for many years.  

Mike will always be remembered for his undeniable work ethic, quick wit, lighthearted spirit,  and big, giving heart.  He loved to make deals and share the abundance with others.  He was a man of his word and left a big impact on those he loved and called friends.

Mike was preceded in death by his mother Elizabeth Lipp, brother Mark Lipp, infant sister Tamara Lipp, and sister-in-law Laurie Lipp. He is survived by his wife, Serena Lipp of Greybull, Wyo., father Albert Lipp of Greybull, Wyo., three sons, Casey (Melanie) Lipp of Tomball, Texas; Todd Lipp of Winslow, Ariz., and Ryan (Diana) Lipp of Greybull, Wyo.;  brother Jack Lipp (Bette Rae Jones) of Greybull, Wyo., and sister Jayne (Chris) Clevenger of Powell, Wyo., two grandchildren Hadley Dean Lipp of Tomball, Texas, and Sofía Remi Lipp of Greybull, Wyo.,  and his brothers and sisters-in-laws, nieces and nephews that were all very dear to him.

A visitation and rosary will be held Friday, Dec. 10 at 6 p.m. at the Sacred Heart Catholic Church.  Funeral services are Saturday, Dec. 11 at 1 p.m. in the old high school gym.

Atwood Family Funeral Home is in charge of services.