MADISON/WEST PALM BEACH, FLA.-Rodney "Rod" Ripp, age 73, of Madison, passed away at home with his wife by his side, on Monday, Aug. 6, 2012, in Madison, after a long and courageous struggle with his health. He was born on Feb. 10, 1939, on a blustery winter day in Cross Plains, the son of Constant J. "Buck" and Margaret (Baltes) Ripp. Rod married his high school sweetheart, Martha Holmes, on Feb. 16, 1957, at Holy Redeemer Catholic Church. He was an intelligent, well read man who loved his family. Rod unselfishly put his family first and enjoyed the simple things in life. Rod was an explorer. He enjoyed chess, the water, motorcycling, reading and traveling. Rod got his last wish to be at home, sit on his deck and enjoy Lake Waubesa. He was a hardworking man who provided for his family. Rod was taught a strong work ethic, beginning as a young boy. His parents had a large garden and he sat at the back of his father's truck, driving into neighborhoods, selling fresh vegetables. When he was 12, Rod had two paper routes. At the age of 16, he worked at the old Park Hotel as a busboy. Rod was proud of opening his barber shop "Rod Ripp's Barber Shop". He also clocked a million miles as a semi-driver.
He is survived by his wife of 55 years, Martha; daughters, Judy (Tom) MacBride and Betsy (Vinny) DiCostanzo; he was "Poppy" to his grandchildren, Jessica and Jay MacBride, Joe and Michael DiCostanzo; sisters-in-law, Mary Holmes, Roma Holmes, Edie Holmes, and Nora Holmes; brothers-in-law, Jim Conant and Bob Kennedy; nieces and nephews; and cousins. He was preceded in death by his parents; his sisters, Viola and Rita; in-laws, Seth and Alice Holmes; and brothers and sisters-in-law, Harlan Thornburg, Bill Hoffman, Ed, Tom (Mary), Bill, John, Dick (Alice) Holmes, Sara Conant, and Cookie Kennedy.
A Celebration of Life will be held at GUNDERSON EAST FUNERAL HOME, 5203 Monona Drive, Madison, at 11 a.m. on Saturday, Aug. 11, 2012, with the Rev. Alta Jewell presiding. Visitation will be held at the funeral home from 9:30 a.m. until the time of celebration on Saturday.
The family would like to give special thanks to the health care facilities in West Palm Beach, Fla., Virginia Beach, the UW-Madison, the rescue squad EMT's, and the first responders for the care they gave Rod. Those who knew Rod, will miss him.