Pipkin, Lorraine Fern, affectionately known as 'Grandma' and 'Mama' to almost everyone who knew her, passed away on Tuesday, July 6, 2010, in Manhattan Beach, CA. Born in the Williston area of North Dakota on August 10, 1925, Lorraine was 84 when she died. She was a 15 year resident of Manhattan Beach. Growing up during the Great Depression, she helped to support the family farm owned by her grandparents. Times were challenging for most of the Northern European immigrants in the area, and Lorraine often recalled that an orange at Christmas time was a special treat. She was very close to her brother Lloyd, and spending time with him was one of her fondest memories growing up. At approximately 14 years of age, Lorraine moved to join her mother, Wilma Haugen, in Yakima, Washington. City life was an enormous change for her compared to her experience on the farm, and she loved it. She moved to the Los Angeles area in the 1940's, and went to work supporting the home front during the Second World War. She met her husband, Isac Chester Pipkin, and soon delighted in raising their two daughters and two sons in Hawthorne. Lorraine loved her life as a mom and a grandmother; supporting her children with their scholastic and extra-curricular activities. Known as a wonderful cook, her house was open to all, and she continually hosted the friends of her children, neighbors, and took pleasure in providing a home away from home for those from out of town. She maintained a keen interest in current affairs, and was always ready for a thoughtful conversation. After her retirement from running her household, she met Mikel Thompson, and spent more than 20 years with him in Cypress, Hemet, and finally Manhattan Beach, where she loved to entertain their children, grandchildren, and other family and friends. She enjoyed visiting her daughters, family, and grandchildren in Oakhurst and Tennessee, and coming back to town to be with her family here. Lorraine is survived by her large family including daughters Dianne (Larry) Mattox of Oakhurst, California and Vicki Pipkin of Murfreesboro, Tennessee and sons Chet (Jan) Pipkin of Manhattan Beach, California and Eric Pipkin of Manhattan Beach, California and 11 grandchildren and 2 great grandchildren. A celebration of her life will be held at Rice Mortuary on Torrance Blvd in Torrance on Friday, July 16th at 11:00 AM. Reception will be in Rice's Lighthouse room from 11:45 am to 2:00 pm. Private burial will be at Pacific Crest Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Diabetic Youth Services / Camp Conrad - Chinnock (www.dys.org).

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  1. To Chet and Jan and all the family, we send our heartfelt sympathies on the loss of your matriarch and linchpin, “Mama.” The road to our inevitable orphanhood is a bumpy one, but she sounded like a vital and compelling woman, one of a kind, and we hope your celebration adds more great stories of her life. As my dad said when my own mom died, “a father is a father, but a mother is a mother.” Our best, Dan and Arline Golden

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