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Joseph Edward Ripley
September 12, 1934 ~ September 22, 2023 (age 89) 89 Years Old
Joseph Edward Ripley of Rootstown, Ohio, died peacefully in his sleep, on Thursday, September 22, 2023. He was born on September 12, 1934 in Belmont, Michigan to Julius and Harriet (Linski) Ripley. He had two older brothers, an older sister, and two younger brothers.
Joe was an outstanding athlete, winning state titles in baseball and basketball for Comstock Park. He was awarded an athletic scholarship to Michigan State University. He was later admitted to the aeronautical engineering program at the University of Michigan, graduating in 1959, the first college graduate in his family. He worked nearly full-time and started a family, both while attending college.
After graduation, Joe worked for both Goodyear and Goodrich in their aerospace programs, but later transferred into Goodyear’s management training program. He worked in numerous capacities from farm tires, racing tires, original equipment car tires, supervising tire testing, and working with the Department of Transportation to establish industry standards for safety and tire labeling. His last assignment was working as the engineering consultant for all military and specialty tires. He traveled both around the country and the world during his career. He retired in 1997.
Joe always loved the outdoors, hunting, boating but especially loved fishing. There was not a type of fishing or place to fish that he did not try and enjoy. In early years, it was trout fishing, then bluegills and crappies, steelhead, and later salmon and ultimately walleye on Lake Erie.
Joe had boundless energy which he put into home repairs, woodworking, and gardening. His focus on precision and an endless search for perfection were guiding principles. He was an avid reader with a focus on American history. He was also a devoted Wolverines fan and a long-suffering supporter of the Red Wings, Pistons, Tigers and Lions.
Joe was married to Jeane (Poorman) for 27 years with whom he shared four children: Linda Winter, Joe (Cindy) Ripley, Trudy (Michael) Nelson, and Edward (Regina) Ripley.
Joe was married to Katherine (Morris) for 40 years with whom he acquired an additional four children: Donald (Diane) Morris, Julie (Ken) Stewart, Cindy (Jim) Firak, and Mary Weaver (deceased). All the kids and grandkids often joined together on spring trips to the North Carolina beach or at gatherings in Rootstown.
Joe had been an active member of the Kent United Church of Christ, where he served in several leadership roles and worked with Katherine in children’s ministries. He made numerous cabinets and many repairs, including maintaining the pews in the sanctuary.
In addition to his children, Joe is survived by 12 grandchildren, 12 great grandchildren, and many nieces and nephews.
Joe was preceded in death by his parents; brothers, retired Col. Richard (Nora) Ripley, Julius Jr. (Joan) Ripley; sister Irene (Carl) Smestad; brothers, Gerald (Debbie) Ripley and Robert (Jackie) Ripley; Jeane Ripley and Katherine Ripley.
Cremation has taken place and a memorial service will be announced at a later date. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Habitat for Humanity.
Service in the care of Bissler and Sons Funeral Home and Crematory, 628 W. Main St. Kent, OH 44240.