Judith Rippee

Judith Marie "Judy" Rippee (Krischel)

Tuesday, March 26th, 1940 - Tuesday, March 17th, 2020
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Judith Marie Rippee born March 26, 1940 in Springfield MO, Graduated from then St. Agnes High School in 1958. Went to Webster University where she graduated in 1962 with a degree in education. Married Eldon T. Rippee May 5th, 1962, moved to Germany after the wedding when her husband was stationed in Kaiserslautern. Her first two sons were born in Germany, Ed in Kaiserslautern and Bruce in Augsburg. They were joined by daughter Helen and son Jim when Don was stationed back in the United States. When Don was medically retired from the Army in 1977 due to an illness contracted in the jungles of Vietnam during the war the family moved back to Springfield, Missouri. Judy first volunteered, then began working at St. Agnes Cathedral where she stayed employed until her illness made it impossible for her to work a few weeks before her death. Through her 43 years at St. Agnes Cathedral she was involved with running the office, fundraising, and many, many building, repair and renovation projects. She was a Jane of all trades, had her own hard hat, and contacts all over the place. If anyone needed to know who to contact for everything from computers to drainage ditches, they went to ask Judy.

She died in her home on March 17th 2020, surrounded by family and friends. She was predeceased by her husband of 56 years. Her surviving family includes her brother Stephen C. Krischel and his wife Selene, Her children, Edward T. Rippee and his wife Nancy, Bruce M. Rippee and his wife Valerie, Helen M. Rapp and her husband Charles, James P. Rippee and his wife Dedra, grandchildren Adam Hoelscher, Darren Rippee, Alisa Rippee, Eric Rippee, Stephen Rippee, Carl Rapp, Samuel Rapp, Lindsey Rippee, Benjamin Rapp and great-grandchild Moira Hoelscher.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to the Judith Rippee Memorial Fund at St. Agnes Cathedral 533 S Jefferson Ave 65806

Judy had an enduring lifelong curiosity about pretty much everything. If she asked you a question about what you were doing, she really did want to know. An educator from the beginning at her mother’s knee, the search for information was a fundamental characteristic. So was organization. She was the first to admit when she wasn’t particularly good at something and sought out those that were. She would find people who had a talent, and gently hound them until they agreed to use that talent for whatever project she had in mind!

When we were first moving from Alabama, she thought we were headed for Texas. This meant we should all learn Spanish. Books were purchased and words practiced. We wound up in North Carolina for a few years first, so away went the books on Spanish and out came books on flowers and gardening. Which she was not particularly successful with at first, having a “black thumb.” So, she oversaw her young children and husband planting and taking care of the roses, etc. and everything grew beautifully.

She was always up for trying new things. On the long trips made in a van, either back and forth to wherever the family was stationed to the family here in MO, or on one of the wandering vacations to somewhere. Once when we stopped at a little roadside place, she came back with something called “fruit leather.” She handed it out to all her kids who tried it, commenting on its odd taste and texture. They might have preferred to eat the strawberries or apples themselves, but were happy to try the new thing to eat. And fruit leather was a more successful sell than the attempt to replace chocolate with this stuff called carob. While politely tried, those around her stuck to their guns on that one.

When her daughter was turning 7 Judy took a cake decorating class to make a barbie doll cake that was popular at the time. She went for several weeks, learning how to pipe and make flowers, etc. She was justly proud of the purple dress she made for the cake. Judy said that the next time a birthday cake was made, her daughter who had watched the decorating process on the doll completely fascinated, asked to try it and surpassed her by so much it was the last time Judy ever decorated a cake.

She said about her living room “I may not understand one word in ten about what’s being discussed, but I love knowing more than I did when it started.” Everything from the mechanics of real estate, space travel, latest medical trials, the production of art and music, books, politics, religion, event planning, environment, renovation and building, Popular culture and technology were all welcome subjects in her home. Just be ready for a bunch of questions!

She had a work ethic that could make the people around her tired just by hearing what all she was doing. When a project was begun, from the planning stage to the organizing to the completion and cleanup, she was all in. She would begin researching to find out what was needed to start up, learning all she could about the basics of whatever was going to be done. She would call, write, email, text everyone who she thought might know the information she sought. Then when it was time for the “boots on the ground” she would make lists of who might be able to help. When it came to getting people on board for a project, she was a real force of nature. “You would start out knowing what you were gonna do and what you weren’t. The next thing you knew you were nodding your head agreeing to whatever she was asking without a clue how you got there!”

Her beautiful smile and wry wit, combined with a no-nonsense attitude toward life, made her a great friend. Judy was someone you wanted in your corner when life got difficult. She tried her best to be there for her friends and family. Whenever she was called upon, whether it was the middle of the night or not, she could be relied upon to come. To stay for the results, to share in the relief, the tears, the cleanup, the humor. She was really present, not” just going through the motions.”

Judy was generous, thoughtful and caring. In 2015, when our river house flooded and had to be rebuilt, Judy provided a home away from home for us. We spent the entire summer rebuilding and repairing the cabin. Each evening Judy, together with Eldon, welcomed us home with a delicious supper, hot showers, clean laundry, and a comfortable bed. We finished many jig-saw puzzles in the evenings, sharing family stories and news of the day. We are so thankful for the time we got to spend with her. We were able to accomplish all we did because of Judy’s loving and considerate care.

When she was diagnosed with cancer on July 17th, 2019 one day shy of the first anniversary of her husband’s death, she turned to her faith and her friends and family. She had a cadre of caretakers, a lot of whom were retired medical persons. She entertained those who came with stories of her life, asked them what they were doing, and thanked everyone who came to assist her. She said several times that she felt as though she moved around in a “bubble of prayer” and was grateful to all those who kept her in mind at Mass and at prayer.

Due to the COVID-19 virus, a private family Funeral Mass will be held in St. Agnes Cathedral. There will be a public memorial mass held at a later date with inurnment following at the Missouri Veterans Cemetery. There will be no public viewing.

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Memorial Program

We have provided a digital copy (PDF) of the Memorial Program that we supply at the time of the service. To Download this file please click the filename below. Judith Marie "Judy" Rippee (Krischel) - Memorial Program

Service Details

  • Visitation

    Herman H. Lohmeyer Chapel
    500 E. Walnut Street
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email
  • Interment

    Friday, June 26th, 2020 | 9:00am
    Friday, June 26th, 2020 9:00am
    Missouri Veterans Cemetery
    5201 S. Southwood Road
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email

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Private Condolence

Joseph M Wheeler

Posted at 12:27pm
Thursday was the Judy day. Judy Wheeler and Judy O'Connor and my dear Judy Rippee. We would arrive at noon until 1:00 sometimes we would get to talking and it would be almost 2:00.
Judy Rippee has made me a better person.
God Bless You my dear Friend.
Judy Wheeler

Cathy Moore

Posted at 05:08pm
Judy was my mentor and my teacher as well as my friend when I first started volunteering at St. Agnes. Her faith in my ability to accomplish computer tasks was far greater than my faith in myself. Consequently, I learned a LOT with Judy watching over my shoulder. These past few months, Judy continued to be my teacher and my friend as she traveled the road toward heaven. Her smile could light up a dark room and I miss her presence in my life. The last words I said to Judy were "I'll see you in heaven" and those words brought out her beautiful smile once more. She is with Don, our Lord Jesus, and all of her family -- may God grant you peace and eternal happiness, Judy. I love you ...

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