American Veteran 05

Donald D. Ripley

July 12, 1922 ~ October 31, 2018 (age 96)


Donald D. Ripley, 96, of River Street, Homer, passed away on October 31, 2018 while under the care Hospice and his loving family.

Born on Copeland Avenue in Homer on July 12, 1922, a son of the late Harold and Beryl Howe Ripley. He was a 1940 graduate of Homer Academy.

In 1942, Don enlisted in the US Navy, serving aboard the aircraft carrier USS Belleau Wood. The ship shot down a Japanese kamikaze plane which fell on her flight deck aft, causing fires which set off ammunition. Before the fire could be brought under control, 92 men were lost. Don had been transferred from the flight deck to a radio room two decks below, just days prior to the attack, which certainly saved his life. He honorably discharged from the Navy in 1946.

Shortly after his return to Cortland, he opened Don’s Auto Upholstery, starting with fabrication and installation of interior panels for Brockway Trucks. The business is still in operation on Grant Street, Cortland where Don could still be seen working into his 90’s.

Don was a longtime and active member of the Burns-McCauliffe Post 465 American Legion of Homer and a charter member of the Homer Lodge #2506 BPOE.

Surviving are his three children, Vicki (Carl) Calletto of Clearwater, FL; Susan (Richard) Matsil of Millington, NJ and Glenn ‘Duff’ (Theresa) Ripley of Cortland; five grandchildren, Kari, Julie, Ben, Andy and Erin and eight great grandchildren, Juliana, Alyssa, Mia, Morgan, Chase, Alexa, Tyler and Maisie.

He was predeceased by his wife, Ruth K. Ripley in 2007 and a brother, Robert Ripley.

Graveside services, with Military Honors, will be held at 1:00 p.m. on Monday, November 5, 2018 at Glenwood Cemetery, Homer.  

Memorial contributions in Mr. Ripley’s name may be directed to the Hospice Foundation of Cortland, 11 Kennedy Parkway, Cortland, NY 13045.

To send flowers to Donald's family, please visit our floral section.


Graveside Service
November 5, 2018

1:00 PM
Glenwood Cemetery
Rt. 281
Homer, NY 13077


11 Kennedy Parkway, Cortland NY 13045

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