Russell Maurice Lipsey

Photo of Russell Maurice Lipsey
Russell Maurice Lipsey, 70, former Memphian and current resident of Heber Springs, Ark., passed away October 17, 2019, after a valiant battle with cancer. He was preceded in death by his parents, Katie and RO Lipsey, founder of RO Lipsey's Seafood Market in Memphis. He is survived by his True Companion of 41 years, Christina Royal Lipsey of Heber Springs, his two daughters, Ginger Lipsey Graves of Memphis, Taylor Lipsey Simmons of Heber Springs, and one son, Russell Parker Lipsey of Heber Springs. Maurice had five grandchildren who adored their Poppy: Mason (17), Andrew (13), Grace (11), Laney (6), and Ophelia (6 months). He is also survived by a beloved sister, Ann Lipsey Lerner of Texas, as well as loving in-laws, nieces, nephews, devoted employees, and a host of lifelong friends. Maurice, affectionately known as Mo, was blessed with a determined entrepreneurial spirit, which became evident in his early teens. After selling a successful security business in Memphis, he headed to Heber Springs to fulfill his ultimate dream… to live and work in "God's Country" as he liked to call it. In 1997 Maurice began developing a magical place along the Little Red River he named Fat Possum Hollow. Over the years, this special place became a popular destination for serious fishermen, families seeking simple pleasures, and good friends who gather regularly to share stories, enjoy music, and break bread. Mo touched and influenced many lives and has inspired countless people over the years. Maurice was a proud father, grandfather, father figure, and mentor to many who benefited from his wisdom and sage advice. He was a leader, a dreamer and a doer. He was a pioneer, a guru, and a rebel. He believed in working hard and playing hard. He never met a stranger. He loved his life and all the people who shared his life. Maurice was incredibly generous, regularly donating to many local charities and hosting fundraisers. He gave several horses to the Arkansas Youth Ranch, as well as to family members and special "Possum People." He also donated the "Jaws of Life" to the local fire department. Even after leaving Memphis over 20 years ago, he continued to support his hometown, donating to countless auctions and local non-profits. He had a particular affection for the kids at St. Jude. Most people experienced his generosity from behind the bar at Fat Possum, where he faithfully showed up for "work" every day, sharing his unique brand of hospitality with anyone who walked through that door, welcoming folks with a glass of wine, a roaring fire, and an experience like nowhere else on earth. Services will be held Saturday, October 26 at 12 noon at New Life Church, 1540 Bypass Road, Heber Springs, Ark. 72543.

Published October 24, 2019

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