Alice Raattama was born in Nashwauk MN, the 7th of 8 children in a Finnish-American family. When she was young she and her brothers and sisters spent summers at the family cabin at Crooked Lake; they took saunas, drank clean spring water and swam across the lake.
Alice was a good swimmer. At the age of 6 she was the mascot of the Nashwauk H.S. swim team and performed fancy dives during the meet intermissions. Her love of lakes never faded. She swam until well into her 90's.
After high school she attended Hibbing Junior College and met John Tripp in chemistry lab. Then she graduated from Lawrence College in Wisconsin. A couple years later she married John Tripp. He was a chemical engineer, and his work took them to many places including Chicago, Detroit, Colorado, (where they built a log cabin), Maryland, (where they raised calves and chickens), and Michigan.
But they had another dream. They wanted to farm, so in 1957 John and Alice and their four children moved to a dairy farm near Spring Hill MN. She milked cows, sold eggs, gardened, cooked, and also wrote short stories, poems and painted water colors about the farm experience.
When the kids left home Alice started teaching English at Belgrade High School. She taught for 10 years, and until she died she continued to meet some students who remember her fondly.
In the early 70's Alice and John joined a power line protest. They met an array of activist farmers, feisty women and professors. As a result of her involvement in the power line protest, Alice ran for governor. She and her running mate, Mike Casper, ran a campaign from the bed of a pickup with a solar powered bullhorn offering voters an alternative energy source. They didn't win the primary, but did surprisingly well and earned a mention in Minnesota history books.
In the early 80's Alice and John sold the farm and moved to Scandi Lake where they lived for 25 years, taking saunas and swimming almost every single day except when the lake was frozen (but sometimes they chopped a hole in the ice and jumped in).
Alice is survived by her children, Christine Scott, John Tripp (Anita Wallace), Michael Tripp (Freya) and Margaret Tripp, 5 grand children, and 8 grand children. Her husband, John, died in March of 2014, and her grandson, Peter died in 2005.
Alice will be remembered at a gathering at the family cabin on Sunday, September 14th. The cabin is at 30855 Scandi Drive, Glenwood MN 56334.
She lived at Talahi Care Center for several years, and her family is grateful to the Talahi staff for the thoughtful care they gave her. The family is also grateful to St. Croix Hospice for their gentle assistance at the end of her life.
More about Alice:
Vote for Alice! by Mary Losure, MN Public Radio Dec 9, 2002
Wellstone learned to listen, lead during powerline protest by Mary Losure, MN Public Radio Dec 9, 2002
MN Powerline Oral History Project: Interview with Alice Tripp
About the MN Powerline Oral History Project
Image of program for John's March 9, 2014 memorial
Image of other side of program with obituary
This page is maintained by Fred H Olson. Fred's Link page