The Ippolito Charitable Foundation of Galveston was founded by Carlos M. Ippolito prior to his death in 2012 to benefit the residents of Galveston and Galveston County.
Born in Beaumont, Texas in 1923, Carlos (or “Ippy” as he was commonly known, and later “Big Ippy”), lived the majority of his life in Galveston and was a prominent member of the community. He left the area at age 19 to serve as an officer in the United States Army, eventually promoted to the rank of Captain. He participated in the liberation of Normandy, France and was awarded Bronze Stars for the Battle of the Rhineland, and the Battle of Northern France. He also received two Bronze Battle Stars for battles in the European and African Middle East Campaigns. He was awarded the Expert Infantry badge, the Combat Infantry Badge, the Purple Heart Medal and the Meritorious Service Medal. Finally, the Republic of France awarded him the prestigious French “Diplome”. After his service in World War II, Ippy returned to Galveston to work at the family business, the Galveston Dr. Pepper – 7 Up Bottling Company.
In 1963, at the age of 39, Ippy assumed ownership of the business. Over the next few years, he brought the company from the brink of bankruptcy and expanded its service area to include a large area from Freeport, Texas to High Island, Texas and north of League City and Clear Lake, Texas to include Alvin and Angleton. He expanded the company’s fleet of trucks from the original seven to thirty. With the help of his wife, Dorothy (“Dotsy”) Thigpen Ippolito and his son, he built a hugely successful, multi-million dollar business. He sold the company in 1993 and retired.
Ippy believed in giving back to the community that treated his family and his business so well over the years and served on various community and nonprofit boards until his death. At the time of his death, he was serving as a Director on the Moody Endowment Board. Previously, he served on the Board of Directors for Moody National Bank (for twenty-two years), and on the Board of Directors of Hometown Bank of Galveston. He also previously served on the Board of Directors of the ANICO Securities Management and Research Corporation, the Board of Directors of the Transitional Learning Center and the Board of Directors of Shearn Moody Plaza. He also served as President of The Colonel Museum. He was a member of the Harmony Masonic Lodge, the Scottish Rite, the York Rite Bodies and the El Mina Shrine, and served as a Chair of the Downtown Lion’s Club and City Chairman for the march of Dimes. Over the years, he attended several religious institutions in Galveston; however, several years prior to his death he found a special religious home at the First Evangelical Lutheran Church of Galveston and was instrumental in the church’s acquisition of adjacent properties and renovations to the church.
He founded the Ippolito Charitable Foundation of Galveston on December 18, 2000 in order to continue his legacy of community service to the town he loved. The Foundation is now run by Ippy’s son, daughter and three granddaughters and is currently focused on supporting community programs in the state of Texas.