COLCHESTER – Lionel Charles Rippie, 82, died peacefully on Sunday, Jan. 14, 2018 at the University of Vermont Medical Center in Burlington.
Lionel was born Aug. 2, 1935 in Beloit, Wis., the son of Edward and Esther (Stevens) Rippie.
In his early years, Lionel loved playing the accordion and in 1946 was the Illinois State Champion in accordion playing. He studied at Howell-Aretta Conservatory of Music from 1944-1946.
Affectionately known as “Rip”, he graduated from the University of Illinois with a degree in electrical engineering in 1959. He married Barbara Ann Portman on Nov. 28, 1964.
He worked at Sperry Gyroscope in Long Island from 1962-1978. While the boys were young, he worked with the Cub Scouts as a den leader while living in Long Island. In 1978, they moved to Vermont. There he began work at Simmonds Precision before becoming BF Goodrich Electronics. In the early ’80s they settled in Panton, where he was involved with the kids’ Webelos Den.
He retired in the mid-’90s. Rip was an avid Lionel train collector and very active in the Masons and served as Grand Master in 1973.
In 2000 Rip and Barb sold their home and began full-time RV-ing. They traveled all over the U.S. and Mexico until he had a stroke in Mission, Texas in 2007. They stayed in Texas and came back to Vermont in 2014.
Lionel is survived by his wife, Barbara, of Colchester; and his sons David Rippie of Portland, Maine; Brian Rippie and his wife, Mariah, and their two children Emma and Aldon John, who live in Jericho; Steven Rippie and his wife, Melissa, and their two children Megan and Tyler, who live in Milton.
A memorial service will be held in Arizona at a later date.