Widow of officer killed by Oswald shares memories, mementos

Widow of officer killed by Oswald shares memories, mementos

Credit: Jason Whitely / WFAA

Marie Tippit, the widow of Ofc. J.D. Tippit who was gunned down by Lee Harvey Oswald.

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by JASON WHITELY / WFAA

WFAA

Posted on November 5, 2013 at 11:59 PM

Updated Wednesday, Nov 6 at 12:02 AM

DALLAS –– The small, white shoebox, with the letters “J.D.” scrawled on the side in blue ink holds the only tangible items Marie Tippit still has of her late husband.

Most are small items, ones often discarded, but they still bring tears to Mrs. Tippit, 85.

"Yeah, [they’re] keepsakes,” she said, becoming emotional. “Reminders.”

Lee Harvey Oswald wasn’t just charged with assassinating President John F. Kennedy. He also killed Dallas policeman J.D. Tippit, Marie's husband. 

"I'm going to try to get through all this without crying, because this is a very emotional thing,” she said, opening the small container. “This box has been sitting here for years."

Inside is a collection of who J.D. Tippit was in the early 1960s. Extra buttons to his police uniform, the 1960 Mapsco map book he used on patrol, even some of the old traffic citations he wrote for things like loud mufflers are all stashed inside. 

It is a small box of memories and mementos. 

"You know, I needed to keep them for his children and his grandchildren," she said. 

There are the personal items inside, as well. 

J.D.'s wrist watch which, when wound up, still works. There’s also a tattered book he was using to study Spanish. 

Then Mrs. Tippit pulled out something surprising.

"You notice I kept all the little things?" she said removing a baby blue tooth brush that her husband used everyday. “He got up every day to brush his teeth and they went right in to work. I just put it in there with that, too." 

That simple, everyday item somehow keeps his memory close to her.

"Isn't it interesting all of the little things we leave behind?" she asked.

Fifty years after Oswald murdered Tippit, what remains from their 17 years of marriage are three children, a broken heart, and small collection of keepsakes. In November of last year, the state placed a historical marker at the Oak Cliff location where he was gunned down. 

E-mail jwhitely@wfaa.com

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