Lippold Haken's Life Story and Family Pictures


Lippold's Life Story

Family Pictures

Beulah's Last Day

Y2K and Beyond


Lippold's Life Story

I was born in Munich, West Germany on April 12, 1961. My parents, Anna-Irmgard and Wolfgang, soon emigrated to the United States because my father was offered a math professorship at the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign.

I am the third of six children and have lived in central Illinois almost all of my life. I learned German from my mom (now called Oma) and siblings at home. I enjoyed family camping and backpacking trips when I was growing up. I learned to play violin and viola, without always enjoying it. Oma purchased wheat, corn, and soybeans at the local grain elevator to keep us well fed at low cost. Her bread is still my favorite; it is hard enough that you can stand on a loaf without deforming it.

My father (now called Opa) showed me persistence and joy in research. He worked on the same topology problems for decades. Together with Ken Appel he prooved the Four Color Map Theorem; this is his best known work. It was the first famous topology theorem proved with the aid of a computer.

In high school I got interested in computers, and used the NovaNET system developed at the University of Illinois. (NovaNET was called PLATO at that time, but the name PLATO was sold to another organization since then.) I combined computer and music interests – thanks Oma for forcing me to practice viola! – all through college, and received my PhD in 1989 under Donald Bitzer. Don Bitzer is a wonderful example of a brilliant and likeable researcher. He is most famous for inventing NovaNET (then called PLATO) and flat panel displays (his team invented the plasma display panel).

In graduate school I discovered the Catholic Church. I met a great group of friends and learned a love of God. This experience helped put the extreme academic competition and fast-paced University life into persepective.

I married Beth Neundorfer in 1991. We now have four kids. Carl Francis was born in 1995, Dawn Marie in 1997, James Mark in 2000, and Paul Wolfgang in 2003. Carl Francis is named for his great grandfather Carl and Saint Francis of Assisi. Dawn Marie is named for Beth's best friend Dawn Mejia, who died of cancer a few years before Dawn was born, and for the mother of Jesus. James Mark is named for his great grandfather James and Father Mark DeSutter, the priest and good friend who married us. Paul Wolfgang is named for Saint Paul and Opa.


Family Pictures


Beth and Lippold with Beulah. (1991)
(Beulah is a '67, as is Beth.)


Lippold on a Saturday Hike with Carl in the backpack, and Dawn in the sling.  (1997)



Dawn on the day of her baptism. (1997)
Her outfit was made by Oma, and the quilt was made by Dawn Mejia.



Opa thinking deep thoughts among bluebells on a Hike. (1998)



Dawn and Carl on a Hike on a muddy winter day. (1998)



 Carl hanging out in Beaulah. (1998)



  Dawn chowing down. (1998)


Carl and Dawn at a camping vacation in the Florida Keys. (1999)



  Dawn and Carl show off Carl's construction. (1999)



Carl at Aunt Dorothea and Uncle Steve's in Ontario. (1999)



Dawn at Grandma and Grandpa's house in Ohio. (1999)


Beulah's Last Day


Farewell Beulah. (1999)
Pictures courtesy of a friendly passing motorist.

Oma and Opa and I had been out hiking with the Saturday Hikers. We were hiking along the Salt Fork bluffs south of Oakwood. Oma tripped over a small beaver-chewed stump and badly impaled her leg on the stump. It was a tough and bloody walk back to the cars. Opa took Oma in their car, and for the first time in his life drove faster than 30 mph. I drove Beulah to the convenience store in Oakwood to call the emergency room and tell them Oma was coming, and that she had lost a lot of blood, and that they should look up her medical history.

I filled up Beulah's tank in Oakwood, and headed towards the interstate. I was admiring how well the engine was running at high speed (I got up to 70 mph drafting behind a friendly semi driver) when the left idiot light came on. Beulah has two unlabeled idiot lights; the right one means "replace the battery" and the left one means "replace the engine". I pulled over right away, grabbed my printout (since I knew I had a long boring hitchhike home ahead of me), and got out. As I was getting out I smelled smoke so I walked to the back to take a look. There were flames shooting out of the engine compartment. I thought of getting the fire extinguisher, but it did not take me long to decide to run away. The flames eventually engulfed the whole car. The magnesium in Beulah's aluminum engine burns real nice, I was told. People drove by (in the far lane) hanging out of their vehicles filming the fire with video cameras; I wish I had a copy of one of those videos. When the police and firemen showed up they closed the interstate and spewed lots of foam all over Beulah.

They had to call a second fire truck because the first truck did not have enough juice to put out the flames. The fire report says 10 foot flames on all sides of the vehicle. After an hour of excitement the fire was out and Beulah's charred remains got hauled away. I collected a few pieces of engine that had dripped onto the pavement during the fire. (An engine sample is on my office door.) None of Beulah's contents could be salvaged; the underwater hockey mask/fins/gloves had become one molten mass with the computer monitor.

The police telephoned Beth via radio operator to let her know my VW burned up and that I was unhurt and needed a ride. (This message was right after the other message on the answering machine that said Oma was badly injured but they thought they could save the leg.) Beth's car had also just died but Beth was able to track down my sister Armgard and have her come get me.

So now Beth and I have two new cars. Neither of them leaks when it rains, both have air conditioning, the lights come on the first time, the odometer works, and all that stuff. One morning when I was driving to work feeling very comfortable in the pouring rain, I suddenly felt old.

Oma is doing OK now; her 5 inch puncture wound took about 6 months to heal.



Y2K and Beyond


  Dawn and Grandma admiring a doll bed made for Dawn by Grandpa. (2000)



 Beth and Dawn admire James. (2000)



  Opa and Oma and their new grandson James. (2000)



 Carl and Dawn take care of James. (2000)



 James at 16 months. (2001)



 A family visit to Lippold's new office at Prairie City Computing. (2001)



 Jumping James (2002)



 Paul Wolfgang (3 days old), Dawn Marie (5 1/2), and Carl Francis (7 1/2). (2003)



 Carl Francis, Paul Wolfgang, Dawn Marie, and James Mark. (2005)



 Dawn. (2007)



 Dawn and cousin Ianna, Virgin River, Utah. (2007)



 Dawn is below me looking up, Capitol Reef NP, Utah. (2007)



 Dawn and Carl at Mooney Falls, Havasu Canyon, Arizona. (2008)



 Carl, Lippold, Dawn, James, and Paul near Fruita, Utah. (2008)



 Lippold at the end of the Illinois Marathon. (2009)
My time was 4:27, 12 minutes over my goal of an 8-bit time (255 minutes).



 James and Paul on a hike in the Colorado Rockies. (2009)



 James and his snack on a hike in the Colorado Rockies. (2009)



 Carl, James, and Paul swim at Grand Teton NP, Wyoming. (2009)



 Paul on the raft Carl built for him, Grand Teton NP, Wyoming. (2009)



 James warms up with sun-heated stones, Grand Teton NP. (2009)



 Lippold mountain unicycling on the Slick Rock Bike Trail, near Moab, Utah.  
My sister Agnes does this regularly; I had to try it. (2009)



 Opa and Oma, Big Pine Key, Florida. (Christmas 2009)



 Lippold did not bring a comb on this backpacking trip. (2010)



 Paul and Beth, Little Wild Horse Canyon, Utah. (2010)


Junior Beaver (April 12, 2011)

I am proud to be the first member of the Saturday Hike to have earned the coveted Junior Beaver award.  This high honor was bestowed on me by TAM professor Richard Weaver, after I managed to start the Hike fire on a particularly soggy day using only one match and none of those deprecated artificial combustibles.  Half a year later, when I turned 32 (hex) years old, I received this birthday card from Richard:


On the Occasion of Lippold’s half century mark
12 April 2011
with apologies to Lewis Carroll 

“You are old Junior Beaver,” a young hiker said,
“and your strength must be nearing its end.
Yet you still take your children on hikes and outside;
Do you think your worn muscles can mend?”

 “In my youth,” Junior Beaver replied to the boy,
“I feared hiking for hours and hours.
Since then I've discovered that coffee and grease,
are good for restoring my powers.” 

“You are old,” said the youth, “and old eyes are too weak
for spotting the ice that is thin.
Yet, do you not fear that a child might tumble
and fall with a shout and a grin?” 

“In my youth,” said the Beaver, “I risked all on my hikes,
daring climbs and hanging from trestles.
And the acrobat balance it gave to my limbs,
my KIDS surely have in THEIR muscles.” 

“You are old,” said the youth, “as I've mentioned a mite,
and your bones must be stiff and unspry.
Yet you run and you hike and you cook the delight.¹
What helps you to sit there and fry?” 

“'Tis the fumes of the glances,² and nettles,” he said,
“and smoke that gets in one's eyes.
Absorbing these poisons will strengthen the bones
and diminish annoyance by flies.”

¹ “Hiker’s Delight” is Saturday Hike dish not available in even the finest restaurants.  It consists of sliced onions and hot peppers fried in a large skillet over the fire, using grease from previously prepared bacon. When the onions are quite fried, “Separation of the Cholesterol” takes place, during which most of the grease is drained from the skillet into the fire. Thereupon cheese is added to the skillet. These ingredients are fried into a sticky – and sometimes crunchy – delicacy.  Detractors know this dish as “Hiker’s Disgust.”

² The esteemed Hike Commissar, Professor Sam Wagstaff, uses the euphemism “glances” when referring to artificial combustibles in his weekly Hike Report.


Family Camping


Lippold traversing the Waterpocket Fold (Utah 2015)



Lippold, Little Wild Horse Canyon, Utah. (2015)



Dawn about to get wet, Little Wild Horse Canyon, Utah. (2015)


Paul and James enjoying Monsoon Season, San Rafael Swell, Utah. (2015)


Carl blew off our family’s annual Big Camping Trip for an internship at SpaceX;
James and Paul created Billis to take Carl’s place.  Fruita, Utah. (2015)



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