Thomas J. Rippentrop
FAIRMONT — A funeral service for Thomas J. Rippentrop, age 80, of Fairmont, Minn., will be held 1:30 p.m. Wednesday, June 23, 2021, at St. Paul Lutheran Church in Fairmont, with military honors provided by the Lee C. Prentice American Legion Post 36 and Martin County Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 1222. Interment will be in Riverside Cemetery, Blue Earth, Minn. Visitation will be from 4-7 p.m. Tuesday, June 22, at Lakeview Funeral Home in Fairmont, and one hour prior to the service Wednesday at the church.
Tom passed away Wednesday morning, June 16, 2021, at St. Mary’s Hospital in Rochester, Minn. Lakeview Funeral Home and Cremation Service in Fairmont is assisting the family with arrangements.
Thomas James Rippentrop was born Oct. 9, 1940, in Delavan, Minn., the son of Benard “Ben” and Alice (Ites) Rippentrop. Tom graduated from Blue Earth High School in 1960. On Sept. 23, 1960, Tom enlisted in the U.S. Army. He earned his honorable discharge on Sept. 20, 1963, after achieving the rank of SP5. On Nov. 26, 1961, Tom was united in marriage to LaVon Ahrens at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Blue Earth. This union was blessed with two children, Terry and Troy. The couple resided in San Francisco, Calif., while Tom was in the service. After his discharge, Tom and LaVon moved to Blue Earth where Tom worked at Kuyper Implement before moving to Fairmont where he began working at Case Power and Equipment in parts and sales. In 1969, Tom was promoted to store manager of the Marshall, Minn. location where he remained for seven years. He later worked as the manager of Minnesota Valley Ford Tractor in Mankato until the store was sold, at which time he and LaVon moved to Fairmont where he operated Rippentrop Implement. Tom returned to Case Power and Equipment in Fairmont which later merged and became Case I.H. Tom ended up working for Case for over 36 years before his retirement. Tom was a long-time member of St. Paul Lutheran Church in Fairmont, as well as the Lee C. Prentice American Legion Post 36. During his free time, Tom enjoyed tending to his garden, attending races at the Fairmont track on a regular basis while his sons still lived in town, as well as having a love for carpentry including building a three-season porch on the house. Tom was known as an “ace” mechanic and could fix just about anything. Most recently, Tom enjoyed keeping a watch on farm commodities and markets and most loved spending time with his family and friends. Left to cherish his memory include his loving wife, LaVon Rippentrop of Fairmont, Minn.; sons, Terry Rippentrop of Ellendale, Minn., and Troy Rippentrop and his wife, Amy Anderson, of Roberts, Wis.; grandchildren, Matthew Rippentrop, Elise Rippentrop, and Hattie Jo Rippentrop; brother, Bob Rippentrop of Granite Bay, Calif.; sister, Ida Haugen of Lake Mills, Iowa; many nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends. Along with his parents, Ben and Alice Rippentrop, Tom was preceded in death by his brothers, Ray Rippentrop, and Alvie Rippentrop; and sisters, Gen Davis, Iona Willner, Dorothy Willner, and Ruthie Rippentrop.