Hermina Zipple (Part 2)

Dear Liza,

Hamilton Hall, Montana State College (now University)

After a successful stint in Kansas, as an associate professor and patron of the local concert series, Hermina moved west to Bozeman, Montana. She took a position in charge of housing and nutrition at Montana State College. As World War II ended, she oversaw the growing budgets of the post-war school housing boom, finding places for all the veterans taking advantage of the GI bill. She lived on campus, too. I hope she kept a nice place for herself.

In 1955 she was hired as director of Portland Schools Lunchrooms, and she moved back in with her Mom and sister Rosina here in Portland. Just four years later, their mother died at the age of 91, and then it was just the two sisters together.

School kids in Portland

Since director of public school lunchrooms is a public position, there are several articles in the Oregonian where Hermina is mentioned, giving budgets and figures from her office. In 1960 she was the center of a public shouting match when her office and its panel of ‘tasters’ rejected ice cream from Sunnybrook Foremost Dairy for the school lunchrooms, in spite of their low bid. She explained that Mr. Sinner’s ice cream just didn’t taste as good as the next lowest bidder. Mr. Sinner said he “had never heard of such a thing.”

Ice cream ad from the 1960s

But we really see the now-65 -year-old Miss Zipple shine in 1966, when a series of articles highlights National School Lunch week. She rattled off the figures that her office dealt with, from the 620,000 pounds of meat and poultry annually served, to the seven million half pints of milk, to the 840,000 eggs.

Miss Zipple said her Office got calls from mothers asking for recipes, after their children told them that “the school makes this better.” The article in The Oregonian even included the recipes for the most requested items, cut down to family-sized portions. These included snickerdoodle cookies, porcupine meatballs, tomato sauce, and Halloween pumpkin cookies.

The very next year, Miss Hermina Zipple retired from her position at the age of 66, ending a 31 year career. She lived in Portland with her sister, in the same house where she was born, until she died at the age of 89. Younger sister Rosina had also been a teacher, staying in town for her 42 year career in the elementary schools. Rosina outlived Hermina by a few years. Neither sister ever married. They supported themselves and their mother by their education and ambition, and educated and fed hundreds of kids.

I sure love making new friends do at the Lone Fir Cemetery!

Love,

Grandma Judy

Author: Judy

I am a new transplant to Portland from Salinas, a small city in Central California. This is a blog about my new city.

2 thoughts on “Hermina Zipple (Part 2)”

  1. Wow!
    I think I have to go back and reread part of it though I didn’t really understand the part about the ice cream. If you have any more to elaborate I’ll gladly read it…

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  2. Hermina, as head of food services for all the public schools in Portland, had quite a bit of influence. Mr. Sinner, the head of the dairy in question, took offense that his low bid ice cream wasn’t good enough, and said so, loudly, in a school board meeting. She held her own, produced the notes of the tasting session, and the city didn’t buy his lousy ice cream.

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