23 August 1922 – 17 October 2020
Past National Historian, ROBW Emeritus Brother Richard M. Ripley passed to the Celestial Chapter above on October 17, 2020. Born August 23, 1922 in Grand Rapids, MI, he was 98 years old. COL Richard M. Ripley enlisted in the U.S. Army in 1944 and was commissioned a Second Lieutenant in 1943. He served in Europe during World War II in the 4th Armored Division. He was in Korea in 1951-1952, commanding Guerrilla Force Operation WOLFPACK. He was in the 199th Light Infantry Brigade in Vietnam in 1968-1969. He retired as a Colonel on November 1, 1973 whilst the head of JFK’s Special Warfare Center. His military awards include the DSM, SS, LM(2) BS(3), AM(8) ACOM, JSCOM and others. Following his military career, he was the Director of Staff Development for the North Carolina State Government. He was active with the US Calvary Association, Church of Good Shepherd (Episcopal), the Special Forces Association, and the North Carolina Military History Society.
Brother Ripley was raised to the Sublime Degree of a Master Mason in March 1948. He was a member of Doric Lodge #342 in Grand Rapids, Michigan and of Garner Lodge #701 in Garner, North Carolina. He was a 33° Scottish Rite Mason, a member of the York Rite College, the Red Cross of Constantine, and the Royal Arch Knight Templar Priests. He was a Past Master of the Raleigh 500 and a Past District Deputy Grand Master of North Carolina. He is the recipient of the Order of the Purple Cross and the Commandery Medal of Merit. Brother Ripley became a Sojourner in North Carolina Chapter #97 in 1953. He was the coordinator of the ROTC Awards program for Piedmont Chapter #504 and is a multiple MIP in all North Carolina Chapters as well as others outside the state. He is a Past President of North Carolina Chapter #97 and Past Commander of Cornelius Harnett (North Carolina #97) and Guilford Courthouse (Piedmont #504) Camps, Heroes of ’76. On the National Level he served as the Regional and Area Representative of the Mid-Atlantic Area. He also served on the Americanism and Membership Committees. He was elected to the Position of National Historian at the 86th National Convention in Austin, Texas in June 2006.
In an expression of sympathy, donations may be made to the SEM Fund. Please make checks payable to the SEM Fund and mail to the National Office, 7942 R Cluny Court, Springfield, VA, 22153, and in the notation line of the check include “In memory of Richard Ripley”.
If you wish to send cards to Col. Ripley’s daughter, the address is as follows: Susan Maxwell 4404 Leota Court Raleigh, NC 27603