Charles and Sara Rippey

Black and white photo of Charles and Sara Rippey

Courtesy of Michael Rippey

“They just couldn’t be without each other,” Michael Rippey told New York Times reporter Julie Bosman ’01 about his parents, Charles ’41 and Sara x’43 Rippey. The couple — pictured above in 1946 — fell in love long before they became Badgers, having met in grade school in Hartford, Wisconsin. They stayed together at the UW, after his Army service in World War II, and during his years as an engineer for Firestone Tire. Charles affectionately referred to his wife as “the queen” and exhorted Michael, one of their five children, to bring a bottle of champagne on his frequent visits to their Napa Valley home. The Rippeys died there in October, just months after celebrating their 75th wedding anniversary, in the deadliest wildfires in California’s history. But in the end, Michael said, “The fact that they went together is probably what they would have wanted.”

Published in the Spring 2018 issue

Tags: Alumni, Engineering

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