Funeral services will be 10 a.m. Monday at Bethel Assembly of God, Rock Island. Visitation will be 4 to 7 p.m. Sunday at Rafferty Funeral Home, 2111 1st St. A, Moline. Burial will be at National Cemetery, Arsenal Island, with military honors conducted by American Legion Post 246, Moline. Memorials can be made to Grace Community Church, Opportunity International or Exodus World Service.
Wayne was born Nov. 23, 1923, in Draper, S.D., the son of Harvey and Bernice Lawrence Ripley. He married Veronica Holmes on May 17, 1945, in Liverpool, England. She preceded him in death on Dec. 6, 2009.
Wayne was a charter member of the "greatest generation." At the age of 20, when World War II was at its worst, he enlisted in the U.S. Army Air Corp, where he rose to the rank of staff sergeant, serving as a maintenance engineer for U.S. fighter and transport planes. Stationed in Warrington, England, he met the love of his life, his English wife, Veronica, while on leave in Liverpool. At the end of World War II, he was deployed to France to serve as a deputy convoy commander.
He began his working career at International Harvester and then spent 40 years at American Air Filter, first as an assembler, then as a foreman and finally as a planning analyst. In addition, he was a self-taught grocer, auto-mechanic, home-builder, roofer, welder, plumber, spiritual advisor, marriage counselor and ethics advisor -- insisting that his family always "take the high road."
He excelled as an "on-call, at-your-service" husband, son, father, brother, grandfather, great-grandfather, brother-in-law, cousin and uncle -- always ready to help whenever asked. No one remembers Wayne ever saying "no" to a request for assistance.
Wayne received the Open Arms Volunteer Award from Exodus World Service in 1994 in recognition of his service to refugees being resettled in the U.S. He was a longterm, faithful supporter of Grace Community Church in Springfield, Ill., Samaritan's Purse and Opportunity International, through which he helped poor families in developing countries work their way out of poverty. Wayne was passionate about his Christian faith, always ready to talk to anyone, at any time, about God's love. In this light, he faithfully supported the ministry of Billy Graham.
Survivors include his daughters and sons-in-law, Jane and Ted Zehelein, Bettendorf, and Maureen and Dan Shaner, Springfield; son and daughter-in-law, Dennis and Debbie Ripley, Wheaton, Ill.; grandchildren, Chris (Shanon) Reedy, Kim (Larry) Larson, Darren Reedy, Jennifer (Dave) Webb, Andrea (Ryan) Wilson, Matt Ripley, Mark (Jenny) Ripley, Christian Ripley, Greg Ripley; great-grandchildren, Ella and Ethan Reedy, Olivia Larson, Blaire and Camryn Clark, Jackson Webb, Kate Wilson and Alayna Ripley. He was preceded in death by a sister, Harriet Wildermuth, and brother, Lawrence Ripley.
Condolences may be left at www.RaffertyFunerals.com.
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