Obituary Listings

Joan S. Ripkey

January 12, 1939 March 5, 2018
Joan S. Ripkey
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Obituary for Joan S. Ripkey

Joan S. Ripkey, 79, passed away Monday, March 5 after a very long courageous battle with a rare form of Muscular Dystrophy. Born in Moscow, PA she was the daughter of the late J. Arnold and Loretta (Butler) Gravel of Canadensis. She grew up in the Poconos and always enjoyed making trips back to visit the area.
She graduated from Barrett High School in 1956 and the former Churchman's Business College, Easton, PA in 1958. She first worked as a secretary to the Executive Director of the Easton YMCA. Later she moved to Washington, D.C. and was employed in the U.S. State
Department as the secretary to the Chargé d'Affaires for the Sudan. Later she returned to Pennsylvania to marry Gordon Ripkey. They celebrated their 55th wedding anniversary last November 17th. She worked in the law offices of Jacob Phillips, Palmerton until she traded in her typewriter to stay home to raise their three children.
During her early years she was rather athletic, enjoying bowling, skiing, and especially golf. She always had a passion for clothing shopping and was always nicely dressed.
With her children grown-up, she worked part-time as a secretary to the librarian of Lehighton High School until retiring in 1990 because of her disease.
She loved to read books, especially biographies. She attended many home Penn State football games as well as Broadway plays in New York City. She also enjoyed an occasional trip to a casino and playing cards with friends.
Her family was her greatest treasure. She took pleasure spending time with them, especially to celebrate special milestones for each family member.
She was a member of Zion United Church of Christ and the former Lady Elks.
Although confined to a wheelchair since 1990, her positive outlook was apparent to all who knew her. She fought the good fight to the end.
She will be missed by her family and friends.
She is survived by her Husband; Gordon, Sons; Todd husband of Kym of Gap, PA and Douglas husband of Marsha of Stoughton WI; Daughter; Amy wife of Daniel Leach of Exton, PA, Brother; Blaine husband of Nancy of Covington, LA and Grandchildren; Carrie and Alexander Ripkey and Danielle, Samantha, Jessica, and Timothy Leach. She was predeceased by her sister Barbara wife of Donald Riley.
A Funeral Service will be held on Saturday, March 10th at 11AM at Zion UCC 2nd & Iron Streets Lehighton with Reverend Dr. Jennifer Bannerman officiating, Calling, Friday, March 9th from 6:30-8:30PM at Schaeffer Funeral Home 3rd & Alum Streets Lehighton and Saturday, March 10th from 10-11AM at the church. Committal will be private and at the convenience of the family. Schaeffer Funeral Home, Lehighton, in charge of arrangements and online condolences may be made at
In lieu of Flowers contributions may be made to Zion UCC 225 Iron Street Lehighton, PA 18235 or Muscular Dystrophy Association 2132 South 12th Street Suite 101 Allentown, PA 18103

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Previous Events

funeral service




11:00 AM 3/10/2018 11:00:00 AM
Zion United Church of Christ

225 Iron Street
Lehighton, PA 18235

A calling will be held on Friday March 9th from 6:30-8:30 PM at Schaeffer Funeral Home and Saturday, March 10th from 10-11 AM at the church. The Committal will be private and held at the convenience of the family

Zion United Church of Christ
225 Iron Street Lehighton 18235 PA
United States

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