The Wolford and Tipton families have been long-standing pillars of the Jackson community. The late Audrey and Carlton “Jack” Tipton were always major supporters of Jackson athletics.
The family’s roots are tied deeply to Jackson, as both their children, Jack, Jackson High School (JHS) Class of 1973 and Cathy, JHS Class of 1974, went on to raise their families in this tight-knit community. The Tipton and Wolford families were joined together when Cathy married Ted Wolford, JHS class of 1966.
Over the years, Cathy and Ted’s successful businesses have helped build Jackson’s local economy. Whether it be attending supporting events, or giving to a local need, one can always see Cathy and Ted present, willing to support. There was no exception concerning the Jackson Ironladies’ Hitting Facility. Specifically, the business of Ted Wolford Construction was a generous donor. The company has been pivotal in the county’s growth for decades.
Audrey and Jack’s children and grandchildren have played significant and meaningful roles of pride and commitment not only within Jackson athletics, but within the entire community. Being grandparents of four grandsons: Scott Conley (JHS, 1990), the late Jason Tipton (JHS, 1998), Shane Wolford (JHS, 1998) and Ryan Tipton (JHS, 2001), the couple, Jack and Audrey, attended and have financially supported a host of teams throughout the years.
For decades, the family’s support and association with Jackson athletics was primarily in football. After having their grandchildren involved as players, their grandson, Shane, then went on to serve as the Ironmen Varsity Football Coach from 2005-2009. In early 2016, after the unexpected death of the newly hired Jackson Ironladies’ Varsity Softball Coach, Emileigh Cooper, circumstances shifted for the Wolford and Tipton families when Shane took over the varsity softball team.
With no hesitation, both families immediately stepped to the plate to support the team, a program where money was scarce. The program was so limited on funds that, before her passing and when reviewing the financials, Coach Emileigh Cooper was merely trying to figure out where the money was going to come from to provide proper catching equipment for the team. From 2016-2020, Coach Shane Wolford led the Ironladies’ Softball program out of the deficit and into a dream — a dream of the possibility of one day having an indoor space for the girls to call their own. After years of planning and saving, this program is now able to call Coach Wolford’s vision a reality.
Even in the midst of death, the family of Carlton “Jack” and Audrey are still making significant contributions to the final push of completion to the Ironladies Hitting Facility. In her recent passing, Audrey’s family made a request that, in lieu of flowers, donations be made to the Ironladies Diamond Club. This final gesture further credits the genuine selflessness this family has displayed over the years.
The Jackson Ironladies sincerely thank both the Tipton and Wolford families. This project would not have come to fruition without their determination and support.