Signs Going Up to Remember Keith Tipsword


Published on December 2 2019 2:12 pm
Last Updated on December 2 2019 8:21 pm
Written by Greg Sapp

A ceremony was held Sunday afternoon to unveil the signs being put in place near the Moccasin community to remember an Effingham County native killed at Pearl Harbor in 1941.

mom kenny and junior


The body of Keith Tipsword was never recovered after his ship, the USS West Virginia, was sunk in the Japanese attack on December 7. The ship was recovered, repaired and put back into service by the end of the war. While the family worked several years ago with retired Veterans Service Officer Lynn Brown to place a marker in Tipsword's memory at the Methodist Church cemetery west of Moccasin, two of Tipsword's relatives, Kenneth Tipsword and Gerald White, Jr., wanted a public memorial. The men approached the Effingham County Board's Road and Bridge Committee, but the committee decided against the signs on public property. That led to the decision to place two signs on private property owned by the Tipswords. The family is erecting the signs and will maintain them. One is in place; the considerable recent rainfall prevented the other sign from being erected, although that will be remedied when drier weather arrives.

That other sign, though, was present for a ceremony held at the Altamont VFW Post Home Sunday afternoon. The ceremony was originally to be held at the location of one of the signs, but the weather forced the ceremony indoors, as well.

Tipsword and White made the most of the inclement conditions and held an unveiling of the second sign during the ceremony. The unveiling was done by Keith Tipsword's surviving sibling, Dalyne Sapp of Effingham. A prayer and the Naval Anthem, "Anchors Aweigh", were parts of the ceremony, as well.

Tipsword and White feel it's important to remember Keith, but want those who have served or the family of those lost while serving to know that when they see the sign, it's meant to represent those individuals, too.