July 9, 1941 – Sept. 12, 2015
Richard B. Wipperman, 74, a Buffalo-born boxer who went on to spend a lengthy career as a police officer in Cheektowaga, died Saturday in Elderwood Health Care at Maplewood, Cheektowaga, after an illness that had progressed since January.
Mr. Wipperman, a Cheektowaga resident for more than 40 years, went to Grover Cleveland High School in Buffalo and then, a bit later, to Sloan High School, where he graduated.
When only 15, he joined the Army – and, before being discharged, saw duty in Europe in a tank unit.
By 18, he was trying his hand at boxing.
Mr. Wipperman, who turned professional as a boxer in 1961, fought at Madison Square Garden against Joe Frazier just five years after that.
He also fought at other venues across the country.
A member of the Boxing Hall of Fame in Buffalo since 2002, Mr. Wipperman fought his last bout Sept. 16, 1968.
“My father … loved the sport. He loved the history of it. He loved everything about it,” his son Mark N. Wipperman, undersheriff of Erie County, said of his father’s views on boxing.
Mr. Wipperman earned an associate degree from Hilbert College and a bachelor’s degree from Buffalo State. He earned a master’s degree from the University at Buffalo.
He worked for the Cheektowaga Police Department for 39 years, as an officer working the streets of the town. Mr. Wipperman retired from the department as a patrolman in 2007.
Mr. Wipperman participated in local organizations including the American Legion. He also coached teams in football, baseball and boxing.
He loved to walk, often taking strolls in Cheektowaga parks and streets that totaled miles a day.
Survivors in addition to his son Mark are his former wife of more than 30 years, the former Barbara Chauby; another son, Bernard; four grandchildren; a stepsister, Delores Ruda; and three stepbrothers, Roger Wipperman, Keith Wipperman and David Wipperman.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered at 10:30 a.m. Wednesday in St. Gabriel’s Catholic Church, 5271 Clinton St., Elma.