Esther Hippen, 83

Esther Hippen, age 83, of Mendon died Thursday, Sept. 17, 2015 at Riverview Manor in Three Rivers. She was born in Kalamazoo on Oct. 26, 1931 the daughter of John and Alice (Doorlag) Gerlofs. She was a lifetime resident of the area and graduated from Kalamazoo Central High School. Esther was married to Herman Hippen on June 22, 1951. She was a homemaker and worked for the Boy Scouts of Kalamazoo. She and her husband purchased El Ken Kamp, a grocery and campground along the St. Joseph River in 1975. She continued to operate the camp for seven years after Herman’s death in 1997. Esther enjoyed cooking and baking, and was noted for her homemade bread. She enjoyed fishing and campfires behind the store on summer nights. Esther walked every day, usually with the family dog at her side.

Esther is survived by four children, Carolyn (Stephen) Bennett of Kalamazoo, Timothy (Mary) Hippen, Thomas (Sally) Hippen both of Three Rivers, and Nancy Hippen of Mendon; five grandchildren; seven great-grandchildren; two sisters, Harriette Hagadone and Sue Esterline both of Kalamazoo; several nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her parents; her husband; and infant daughter; and by three brothers.

The family will receive friends from 10 to 11 a.m. Monday, Sept. 21, 2015 at the Crossroads Missionary Church, at the corner of M-60 and Silver Street west of Mendon. Funeral services will begin at 11 a.m. Monday at the church with David Farrell officiating. Burial will be in Mendon Cemetery. Memorials may be directed to either the American Diabetes Association, or to Southern Care Hospice. Arrangements were by the Eickhoff Funeral Home of Mendon. Condolences may be expressed to the family online at

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