Dokken-Nelson Funeral Service

Elisha Tripp

December 21, 1974 ~ May 10, 2011

Elisha Stetson Tripp passed away Tuesday, May 10, 2011, at his home in Bozeman, Montana due to complications from Cystic Fibrosis. Eli was born in St. Johnsbury, Vermont on December 21, 1974, to Patricia Stetson and Nathaniel Tripp. In 1982, Eli moved to Big Timber where he attended Big Timber Grade School and The Bridge School, graduating from Headwaters Academy in Bozeman.

Eli loved all things outdoors. He thoroughly enjoyed growing up between the Big Timber ranch and the Vermont farm. Exploring, hiking, fishing and hunting were some of his early passions. Springtime would find him with his new hatchlings of goslings, ducklings or chicks, trailing behind him. He especially relished summers, canoeing and camping with his father and his brother, Sam.

In addition to taking courses at NYU Film School and MSU, Eli was a student of life, backpacking in Europe and the Arizona desert. He filmed, painted, sculpted and chronicled the many challenges of his life through epic poetry. He had a voracious taste for film, literature and a passion for science. He loved opera, riding his motorcycle, dancing, singing, working his bird dogs, gardening and cooking. But most of all he loved spending hours playing with his kids and teaching them all he knew. Huge bonfires, star gazing, rock hunting, studying animal tracks, playing pirates.

Eli loved to help others. He trained as an EMT, worked in Search & Rescue, volunteered on the Gallatin County Sheriff's Posse and was a lieutenant in the Sweet Grass County Sheriff's Auxiliary.  He was an expert shot, a trained sniper for law enforcement, and a founder/partner in Templar Tactical, a Bozeman based manufacturer of high quality firearms.

Eli was a mentor, inspiration and hero to the Cystic Fibrosis community. He was always on the cutting edge of research with his friend, and long time doctor, Frank Accurso,
of Denver Childrens Hospital. Eli was relentless in his CF treatments and self care. He beat the odds. Despite obstacles that would stop most others, Eli lived each day to the fullest, with memorable humor and few complaints.


Eli is survived by his children, Phoebe and Stetson Tripp; their mother Kara Fellows-Tripp and her family; by his parents, Patricia and Thomas Agnew of Big Timber, Montana, and Nathaniel Tripp and Reeve Lindbergh of Passumpsic, Vermont; brothers Samuel Tripp, Ben Tripp, Owen Agnew; sisters Singeli Agnew, Elizabeth Lindenberg, Suzannah Scanlon; grandmother Alice WardellTripp, and a large extended family and friends too numerous to count.

Eli was preceded in death by his Grandparents Grace Richardson Stetson of Norwich, Vermont, Eugene W. Stetson Jr. of Vinalhaven, Maine and Peter F. Tripp of Stonington, CT.

A service and celebration were held along the Sweet Grass Creek on the Agnew Ranch on May 13, 2011. Rev. David Gunderson officiated at a ceremony that included Native American prayers and readings of Eli's poetry, as friends played music and sang his favorite songs. His children, who turned six three days later, sat astride the pony Eli gave them for their birthday.

In addition to family there were legions of friends, childhood pals, favorite teachers, fellow pranksters and wordsmiths, karaoke and tango partners, the entire sheriff's department, his doctors and his dogs. Sheep, horses and cows grazed close by. A gaggle of geese with goslings loudly announced their presence throughout the ceremony, balloons were flown and stories were told.

We all came together to honor this great man, beloved father, brother, son, friend who so deeply touched our lives, and will continue to do so through his beloved children..

Gifts in Eli's name can be made to The Denver Childrens' Hospital, Aurora, CO. and The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, Bethesda, MD.