Cover photo for Gary L. Ripley's Obituary
Gary L. Ripley Profile Photo
1946 Gary 2018

Gary L. Ripley

May 8, 1946 — June 26, 2018

LANCASTER - Gary L. Ripley, 72, of Lancaster, WI passed away on June 26, 2018 at home after a brief illness. Gary was a long‐time teacher and coach in the area, first at West Grant High School from 1976‐1988, then at Lancaster High School from 1988‐2009 at which time he retired.

Gary was born on May 8, 1946 in Mauston, WI and was a 1964 graduate of Mauston High School. Upon graduation, Gary attended the University of Wisconsin‐La Crosse for one year and then enlisted in the United States Navy. He was in the Navy from 1966 through 1970. Gary was on the crew aboard the
aircraft carrier USS Boxer out of Norfolk, VA, and then was stationed on Coronado Island at the Naval Air Rework Facility, NAS North Island, San Diego, CA. He attained the appointment of Aviation Electronics Technician Third Class and was a co‐pilot on F‐4 Phantom jets during their test flights. After an Honorable Discharge from the Navy, Gary continued his education at the University of Wisconsin‐Richland Center. While at Richland Center, Gary was the starting point guard on the basketball team and helped guide the 1972 team to a berth in the NJCAA Division II national tournament. Gary completed his bachelor's degree from UW-La Crosse in 1976 and began his teaching and coaching career. While teaching at Lancaster, Gary received his master's degree from the University of Wisconsin‐Platteville.

Gary was a successful boys’ high school varsity basketball coach for 25 years between West Grant and Lancaster. He coached five conference championship teams, a regional championship team and was a four‐time conference Coach of the Year. In 1996 he was selected as the head coach of the Wisconsin Basketball Coaches Association Division 3‐4 South All‐Star team. After retiring from coaching varsity boys’ basketball, he was the 8th grade boys’ basketball coach at Lancaster for years. In addition, Gary was also a successful girls’ volleyball coach, winning three consecutive conference championships and a regional championship at West Grant and was also an assistant coach of the West Grant football team.

A man of many skills, he also became a Union bricklayer in Mauston, Wisconsin between his college years.

Gary was a devoted husband, father, grandfather (Papa), brother and uncle who loved his family with all his heart. He was also an avid fisherman who shared his love of fishing with family and friends. He also loved gardening and being outside in nature. Anyone who knew Gary enjoyed his quick wit, sense of humor and active mind, which he kept sharp with his love of crossword and Sudoku puzzles.

Gary is survived by Nancy, his wife of 52 years, of Lancaster, his children Shane (Laura) Ripley of Dubuque, IA; daughter Tracy Ripley of Dubuque, IA; daughter Erin (Nick) Klaas of Lancaster. He is also survived by his brothers Richard (Diana) Ripley of New Bern, NC; Jack (Nancy) Ripley of Plymouth, MN and sisters Kim (Gary) Schweinler of Mauston, WI; Kris Ripley of Sunrise Beach, MO; Melanie
Ripley of Navarre, FL. He has six beloved grandchildren, Christopher, Isaac, and Monica Ripley and Aiden, Braxton and Emerson Klaas.

Gary was preceded in death by his parents, Jack and Arlene (Jurkowski) Ripley, his brother Lance Ripley and his sister Renee (Randy) Hoffman.

Funeral services will be held on Saturday, July 7, 2018, at 10:30 a.m. at the Lancaster United Methodist Church with Reverend Mark Weaver officiating. Private family burial will be at a later date. Family and friends may call on Friday, July 6, 2018, from 3:00 p.m. until 8:00 p.m. and on Saturday from 9:30 a.m. until time of services at the church. Martin Schwartz Funeral Home & Crematory in Lancaster is entrusted with his care.
In lieu of plants and flowers, a Gary Ripley Memorial Fund has been established which will be used to benefit Lancaster High School sports programs.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Gary L. Ripley, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Visitation

Friday, July 6, 2018

3:00 - 8:00 pm (Central time)

Lancaster United Methodist Church

216 S. Monroe St., Lancaster, WI 53813

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Visitation

Saturday, July 7, 2018

9:30 - 10:30 am (Central time)

Lancaster United Methodist Church

216 S. Monroe St., Lancaster, WI 53813

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Service

Saturday, July 7, 2018

10:30 - 11:30 am (Central time)

Lancaster United Methodist Church

216 S. Monroe St., Lancaster, WI 53813

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

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