Wayne H. Ripley, 87, of Bettendorf, passed away Tuesday, November 22, 2011 at his home.
Funeral service will be 10am Monday, November 28, 2011 at Bethel Assembly of God, Rock Island. Visitation will be 4-7pm on Sunday at Rafferty Funeral Home 2111-1st St A, Moline. Burial will be at National Cemetery, Rock Island with military honors conducted by American Legion Post 246, Moline. Memorials can be made to Grace Community Church, Opportunity International or Exodus World Service.
Wayne was born November 23, 1923 in Draper, SD, the son of Harvey and Bernice Lawrence Ripley. He married Veronica Holmes on May 17, 1945 in Liverpool, England. She preceded him in death on December 6, 2009.
Wayne was a charter member of the "greatest generation." At the age of 20, when World War II was at its worst, he enlisted in the US Army Air Corp where he rose to the rank of staff sergeant, serving as a maintenance engineer for US fighter and transport planes. Stationed in Warrington, England, he met the love of his life, his English wife Veronica, while on leave in Liverpool. At the end of World War II he was deployed to France to serve as a Deputy Convoy Commander.
He began his working career at International Harvester and then spent 40 years at American Air Filter, first as an assembler, then as a foreman, and finally as a planning analyst. In addition, he was a self-taught grocer, auto-mechanic, home-builder, roofer, welder, plumber, spiritual advisor, marriage counselor and ethics advisor - insisting that his family always 'take the high road.’
He excelled as an "on-call, at-your-service" husband, son, father, brother, grandfather, great-grandfather, brother-in-law, cousin and uncle - always ready to help whenever asked. No one remembers Wayne ever saying "no" to a request for assistance.
Wayne received the Open Arms Volunteer Award from Exodus World Service in 1994 in recognition of his service to refugees being resettled in the US. He was a long-term, faithful supporter of Grace Community Church in Springfield, Illinois, Samaritan's Purse, and Opportunity International, through which he helped poor families in developing countries work their way out of poverty. Wayne was passionate about his Christian faith, always ready to talk to anyone, at any time, about God's love. In this light, he faithfully supported the ministry of Billy Graham.
Survivors include his daughters and sons-in-law, Jane and Ted Zehelein, Bettendorf and Maureen and Dan Shaner, Springfield, Ill.; son and daughter-in-law, Dennis and Debbie Ripley, Wheaton, Ill.; grandchildren, Chris (Shanon) Reedy, Kim (Larry) Larson, Darren Reedy, Jennifer (Dave) Webb, Andrea (Ryan) Wilson, Matt Ripley, Mark (Jenny) Ripley, Christian Ripley, Greg Ripley; great-grandchildren, Ella and Ethan Reedy, Olivia Larson, Blaire and Camryn Clark, Jackson Webb, Kate Wilson and Alayna Ripley. He was preceded in death by a sister, Harriet Wildermuth and brother, Lawrence Ripley.
November 28, 2011, 10:00am
Bethel Assembly of God
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