Emmalene Eva ‘Em’ Hermreck Rippe, 75, of Oakdale, died Thursday, Dec. 12.
She was born in Ellsworth, Kan. to Alfred and Iva Hermreck. She graduated from Ellsworth High School in 1956 and from Fort Hays State College in 1960 with a B.S. in General Science with a Diploma in Nursing. At Fort Hays State she received the Dr. Karl Meninger Award for Outstanding Student Nurse in Psychiatry.
In 1961, she married Clarence Rippe, and they had four children together, Lauri, Brad, Shelayne, and Cheryl. Although they divorced in 1982, she and Clarence remained good friends and co-parents until his death in 1998.
Mrs. Rippe was a very dedicated and supportive mother, grandmother, sister, aunt, and friend. In what little spare time she had, she kept herself busy running from town to town watching her grandchildren, Chase, Ian, Ethan and Sarah at their sporting events, pageants, and awards ceremonies.
Over the years, she worked in various nursing capacities: hospital nurse, Director of Nurses at Oak Valley Care Center, as well as school nurse at Modesto Junior College. Her crowning achievement was establishing the ROP Health Occupations program in 1974 at Oakdale High School. Sadly, she passed away in the middle of what she intended to be her final year of teaching. Throughout her 39 years at OHS, she positively affected the lives and careers of many Oakdale students and citizens. She also had students in her class from Riverbank High School over the years, and she currently has students placed in various medical offices and ambulance services in both Riverbank and Escalon.
She also received the Oakdale Soroptimist “Woman of the Year in Health” award and was very well known throughout the entire local health community.
She is survived by her daughters, Lauri Rippe, Shelayne Higgs, both of Oakdale, Cheryl (Doug) Reece of Galt; brothers, Lawrence (Barbara) Hermreck of Osage Beach, Mo., Kenneth (Kathy) Hermreck of Hoffman Estates, Ill.; grandchildren, Chase Higgs of Oakdale, and Ian, Ethan and Sarah Reece of Galt; many special aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, cousins, wonderful friends; and her beloved students.
She was preceded in death by her parents; Clarence Rippe; and beloved son, Brad Rippe.
Visitation and rosary were held Dec. 17 at Oakdale Memorial Chapel. A funeral service will be at 3:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 18 at St. Mary’s Catholic Church, Oakdale, with a reception to follow at the Oakdale FES Hall.
Burial will be at 1:30 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 19 at Lakewood Memorial Park, Hughson.
In lieu of flowers, remembrances may be made to a memorial scholarship set up in her name to benefit OHS students going into the health care field. Make checks payable to: OJUSD (in memo area please write “Em Rippe Memorial Scholarship Fund”), and mail to OJUSD at 168 South Third Ave., Oakdale, CA 95361.
The Oakdale (Calif.) Leader
Dec. 18, 2013