Clifford Dale “Cliff” Phipps

Jan 4, 2023

Clifford Dale “Cliff” Phipps, 90, of Spirit Lake, passed away on Wednesday, January 4, 2023, at Lakes Regional Healthcare in Spirit Lake.

A memorial service for Cliff will be held at 11:00am, Saturday, January 14, 2023, at Grace Lutheran Church in Spirit Lake. Military Honors will follow the service at the church presented by the American Legion Post Timpe Post #23 and the VFW John W. Kidd Post #4514. A visitation will be held one hour prior to the service on Saturday at the church. Arrangements are under the direction of the Robinson Funeral Home, formerly the Schuchert-Lentz Funeral Home in Spirit Lake. Online condolences may be left at

Clifford Dale Phipps was born March 12, 1932, to Ruth (Weaver) and Ernest Phipps in Sioux Rapids, Iowa. He graduated from Sioux Rapids High School in 1950 and attended the University of South Dakota in Vermillion for one year. In 1952, he was united in marriage to Martha Dengler at Immanuel Lutheran Church in Rock Rapids, Iowa, where he was also baptized and confirmed.

Cliff was drafted into the Army in 1952 where he received training in Explosive Ordinance in Aberdeen, MD and then served in Salzburg, Austria,for one year. After his discharge from the Army in 1954,he was engaged in farming in the Sioux Rapids area where he belonged to the First Lutheran Church being active in teaching Sunday school and sponsoring Luther League. 

In 1964, Cliff enrolled in Buena Vista College in Storm Lake, IA, graduating with a bachelor’s degree and honors in 1966.

Following one year of teaching, he and Martha moved to Bloomington, Minnesota, to accept an accounting position with Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Minnesota until his retirement in 1994.

Cliff enjoyed the hobbies of antique cars, woodcarving, reading and playing cards. He also enjoyed watching football and golf on T.V. He volunteered at Lakes Regional Healthcare for 17 years, delivering meals-on-wheels and represented the American Legion at military funerals. 

Cliff held many positions, both locally and nationally in the Antique Automobile Club of America (AACA). He was an active judge for many years and attended several tours, driving his 1957 Chevrolet, 1931 Pontiac or his 1982 Chevrolet – meeting many wonderful people and seeing many interesting and beautiful parts of the U.S. His 1914 Model T Roadster is on display at the Michigan State Museum in Lansing. Cliff was an honorary member of the MN Region AACA, and a member of the Iowa Great Lakes Region ACAA. . 

In 2019, Cliff was gifted with the privilege of going on the Veteran’s Honor Flight to Washington D.C. – an awesome experience of seeing military memorials and other sites in the area.

In 1996,Cliff and Martha moved back to NW Iowa, settling in Spirit Lake where he was a member of Grace Lutheran Church and American Legion Tempe Post No. 23.

Cliff passed on January, 4th 2023,at the Lakes Regional Hospital in Spirit Lake and was preceded in death by his parents, one brother and two nieces. He is survived by his wife,Martha; one sister,Avis Davis of Spirit Lake; one niece,Sheila Phipps of Mankato, MN; two nephews,Frank (Debbie) Phipps of Everly, IA and Dan (Deb) Davis of Spirit Lake, other relatives and friends.

Blessed be his memory. 

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be directed to Grace Lutheran Church, Lakes Regional Healthcare Hospital, Lakes Regional Hospice or to the charity of your choice.