School 21

Stephen Leon Lipscomb

January 31, 1944 ~ December 30, 2023 (age 79) 79 Years Old


On December 30, 2023 Stephen Leon Lipscomb, PhD passed away at the age of 79 due to complications of Alzheimer’s. He was born to David and Dema (Alkire) Lipscomb in Junior, West Virginia.

Dr. Lipscomb graduated from Belington High School and married his high school sweetheart Patty (Skidmore) Lipscomb from Junior. He went on to complete his undergraduate degree at Fairmont State College where he excelled in football and as an adult obtained an Outstanding Alumni Award. He completed a Master of Mathematics degree at West Virginia University and a Doctor of Philosophy in Mathematics from the University of Virginia. 

Amassing nearly 40 years of professional experience, Dr. Lipscomb is a celebrated mathematician whose achievements are renowned in the academic community. Retired since 2003, he previously served as the chair of the department of mathematics at the University of Mary Washington from 1984 to 2003, chair of the department of mathematics, science and physics at the University of Mary Washington from 1984 to 1986, and an eminent scholar in mathematics at the University of Mary Washington from 1983 to 2003. Prior to these positions, he was a senior mathematician at the Naval Surface Weapons Center from 1967 to 1983 as well as a high school teacher and coach from 1965 to 1966.

Alongside these appointments, Dr. Lipscomb held the role of adjunct professor of mathematics at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University from 1976 to 1992 and a senior fellow of the American Society for Engineering Education for numerous years between 1994 and 2003. A contributor of myriad articles to professional journals, he has also translated several books related to the American Mathematical Society and a number of United States Navy reports. He has published several mathematical books to include “Fractals and Universal Spaces in Dimension Theory”, “Incipit, Art Meets Mathematics in the Fourth Dimension” and “A Life of Mathematics.”

Among his achievements, Dr. Lipscomb is most renowned for the invention of Lipscomb’s Topological Space and for pioneering several mathematical concepts including the first thrust integral programs for the Navy. In addition, he chaired the tiger team in the Tomahawk Missile System prior to the operational evaluation in 1983. He has several patents for web structures and methods and thirty years of Dr. Lipscomb’s research in topological dimension theory led to the discovery of a novel geometry, the 4web, that is used to create high-strength, lightweight web structures, such as medical spinal cages.

Dr. Lipscomb is survived by his wife, Patty; two sons Stephen Lipscomb II (Debra) and Darrin Lipscomb (Debbie); four grandchildren Stephanie Lipscomb Wolfrey (Dan), and Sam, Will, and George Stephen Lipscomb; three great-grandchildren Connor, Eveleigh, and Delaney Wolfrey; and his sister, Barbara (Lipscomb) Hunt (Preston) of Texas. Dr. Lipscomb was preceded in death by his parents; and his brother, Donald Alkire of Clarion, Ohio.

The family will receive friends from 5 to 7 p.m. on Thursday, January 4, 2024 at Covenant Funeral Service, Fredericksburg. A service will be held at 11 a.m. on Saturday, January 6, 2024 at Talbott Funeral Home in Belington, West Virginia on with an hour prior visitation. Followed directly by interment at K of P Cemetery in Junior, West Virginia.

Because of Stephen’s love of dogs, in lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Fredericksburg SPCA at 10819 Courthouse Rd, Fredericksburg, Virginia 22408.


January 4, 2024

5:00 PM to 7:00 PM
Covenant Funeral Service, Fredericksburg
10830 Patriot Highway
Fredericksburg, VA 22408


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