Raymond Walter Ripley
September 18, 1914 to April 7, 2008
A preface to Raymonds Story
Woodrow Wilson was President of the United States and World War I had begun barely one month earlier. It was into this world that Raymond Walter Ripley was born, September 18, 1914, in Leslie, Michigan, the second born of Walter H., and Grace E. Ripley, who lived on Meeker Street in that small village.
Walter Harrison Ripley married Grace Evelyn Hudler on February 20, 1913 in Leslie. Their first born child was Allen O. Ripley, who did not live. Raymond was the second born.
Raymond spent part of his youth there and in the Leslie Schools, before moving to the City of Jackson. As a high school youth, Raymond got his name in the papers for his expertise at playing basketball for East Jackson High School and where he graduated in 1933. Married at a Parsonage at either Washington or Franklin Street in Jackson (1938) by the Reverend Carl F. Winters.
Raymond and Grace lived in places like Deyo Street in Jackson and another home in Vandercook Lake in the 1940's. Then there was Milwaulkee Street, on the west side, just a few houses south, down the street from Grace's parents Levi and Joy (Krontz) Boyers who lived in a big brown house on the east side of the street.
Tall and thin most of his life, Raymond once grew a beard and looked like the spitting image of ol Abe Lincoln. Dads first TV was a huge 17 inch Emerson which we got while on 820 Water Street, in Jackson. A monster 8 X antenna on the roof pulled in stations from far away Detroit. We watched the Republican convention in which Dwight D Eisenhower was nominated and later elected President in 1952. Dad worked in defense plants during WWII. His first car when Michael, Brian and Dennis were the only kids, was a 1929 Essex, 4 door sedan when we all lived at 727 Edgewood in Jackson. It was a beautiful, big, boxey car. The windshield opened forward for a breeze and he never drove it over 35 mph! Taking a trip in that old Essex was a real neat adventure. He once took us all the way to Detroit in that car, going to the Detroit Zoo. Dad drove a Cadillac LaSalle when we moved to California in 1945, pulling a house trailer. As we traveled west, we spotted the mountains of Colorado. It seemed like days before Dad got us there. The muffler came loose on the trip and Michael and Brian both got sick in the back in those fold down seats. The days of nice super highways were still far in the future but the trip was still fun. We stopped at the Great Salt Lake in Utah to have our pictures taken with our hands in the water. We lived in several California towns. We even stayed with cousin Merwin Ripley and his wife Bessie at their farm in the Napa Valley. Dad told me late in his life,