Oct 2, 2008, 3:21 PM
EIGHT BELLS: Alan 'Trapper' Lippincott
Alan Walz ‘Trapper’ Lippincott, 62, of Annapolis, died of cancer Sept. 21, 2008, at the Veterans Administration Medical Center in Washington, D.C. The son of Stanley ‘Skillful’ Lippincott and Helen Walz Lippincott, he was born March 4, 1946, into the extended boatbuilding and sailing clan associated with the legendary Lippincott Boat Works of Riverton, NJ. Growing up in and around the boatyard, he worked with his uncles Howard, Marcy, Raymond and Bob and numerous cousins at the Boat Works through his teen years and into adulthood, mastering virtually every facet of sailboat construction.
He graduated from Palmyra High School in Palmyra, N.J., and subsequently entered the U.S. Navy in November 1965. Two of his four years in the service were spent in Vietnam, where he served as a gunner’s mate and a member of the Navy’s elite Special Forces with a River Assault Group, manning twin 50-caliber machine guns on the bow while carrying out supply and reconnaissance missions along the rivers of South Vietnam.
After an honorable discharge, he returned to the Boat Works, where he quickly perfected his reputation as a skilled artisan noted for flawless finish work on the sailboats produced there. A few years later, he moved to Maryland’s Eastern Shore, where he joined first Lippincott Sailing Yachts for an extended period and later The Yacht Group, working in new and used boat sales, and handling periodic boat deliveries. Crossing the Bay to Annapolis, he joined Boaters World, from which he retired earlier this year.
An accomplished sailor, he began his racing career as a youngster in Dusters, then competed for more than 40 years in the Star class, taking part in numerous championships not only in Stars but also in Lightnings, as both skipper and crew. Popular on the U.S. Star racing circuit, he was known for his sense of humor and willingness to offer help, and share information and technique. He also participated in other classes, and was sought-after as a valuable senior crew member and tactician by numerous racing skippers.
He was a member of Eastport Yacht Club, the Annapolis Star Fleet and the International Star Class Yacht Racing Association. He is survived by two brothers, David S. Lippincott of Palm Bay, Fla. and Paul T. Lippincott of Chester; three sons, John A Lippincott of Nashville, Tenn., Charles Zuschnitt of Ocean View, NJ. and Michael Zuschnitt of St. Michaels; and five grandchildren. His marriage to Parmelee ‘Happy’ Biggs Lippincott ended in divorce. A celebration of his life will be held at 11 am., Friday, Oct. 3, at Eastport Yacht Club, 317 First St., Annapolis. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the American Red Cross or the American Cancer Society.