At the family's request memorial contributions are to be made to those listed below. Please forward payment directly to the memorial of your choice.
First Evangelical Covenant Church
1933 Trmont Blvd. NW
Grand Rapids, MI 49504
Spectrum Health Foundation, Libby Glasscock McDaniel Endowed Fund for Gynecological Cancer
25 Michigan St. NE
Grand Rapids, MI 49503
Below is the contact information for a florist recommended by the funeral home.
Life Story / Obituary
Everyone that knew Judye Ripley saw the glowing joy of the Lord that she wore on her face and in her heart. From a very young age Judye felt the Lord’s hand on her life. Her greatest wish was for others to know the Lord as their Savior. Judye’s church families, and her own family made her heart and life full and blessed. Thanks to God and an excellent team of medical providers (Dr. Leigh Seamon and her staff and Dr. Banga), Judye was able to enjoy four years of good quality health after her diagnosis of Ovarian cancer in September of 2017. During these four years Judye was able to attend many family gatherings, holidays, weddings, graduations, and see three babies born into her family. Loving those around her was what Judye did best. Her family brought her endless amounts of love and joy; Judye will be immensely missed, but her memories and kind personality will always be remembered.
The 1940s brought about many new changes to our country. Judye Kay (Graul) Ripley made her debut into the world on May 9, 1944. She had one sister named Sylvia and grew up in a small town of Saranac, MI. Growing up in a small town gave Judye many unique opportunities to be involved heavily at school and church. Judye had many mentors to help make available these opportunities along the way. She sang in the church choir since the age of twelve and was always encouraged to realize her gifts. Judye was involved in 4-H, enjoyed singing, playing sports, and served as captain of the cheer team. In her school’s marching band, Judye played the clarinet and travelled all over Michigan marching in more parades than she could count. Judye often claimed she was part of the “coolest band” because the uniforms consisted of Bermuda shorts. Music was a big part of Judye’s childhood. She sang numerous times on the infamous Lowell Boat and loved being in musicals.
Through a mutual friend, Judye met her future husband in 1963. For both, it was love at first sight. Bob fondly remembers the two of them dancing in her apartment living room together before they were married to Johnny Mathis albums. Perhaps Judye’s greatest joy in life was being a mother. Jodye was born in 1964, Todd was born 20 months later in 1966, and Skip completed the family in 1970. All along these years she “raised” her husband and best friend; “her Rip”. The family enjoyed 17 years of going to Silver Lake for two weeks every summer. Many memories were made on these fun family trips. In later years, Judye and Bob enjoyed traveling to Hawaii five times and to Europe several times.
In 1976, Norm Johnson, the choir director at First Evangelical Covenant Church invited Judye to sing in a neighborhood choir for the Bi-Centennial celebration— “I Love America.” Through this relationship the family joined this church community and has been richly blessed through this extended family for 45 years. Church has always been a lifeline for Judye, learning from and loving others in this community of faith. Judye and Bob have also been blessed with a supportive and beautiful church family near their second home in Florida. Their Sunday School class was especially dear to them. Judye’s church family played an integral part in her life after she received her cancer diagnosis. Ever since she was a little girl, Judye felt the Lord’s hand on her life. From then until the end of her life, her faith in Jesus Christ has been first and foremost in her life. One of Judye’s favorite activities each week was preparing Sunday dinner for her entire family after church and always served by 1:00 pm! This dinner was very special for Judye and served as her favorite meal of the week. Her specialty was pull apart roast beef and her special cinnamon apple sauce over rice (which was a favorite for several of her grandchildren).
Judye was the kind of person that was diligent at sending cards to anyone that needed them—sick individuals, notes of encouragement, and people grieving. She would even send cards of thanks and encouragement to the teachers at nearby Union High School. Anyone that was married at her church received her signature gift: a tea pot. Any baby born into the extended family would receive a blanket lovingly knitted by Judye. She always made her “Lovey tags” for any baby born. Those around her described Judye as a positive, joyful, compassionate person who was always smiling. She had a servant’s heart and a steadfast, unshakable faith.
Faith and Jesus Christ served as the pillar of Judye’s life. Even before she breathed her first breath, the Lord had a beautiful plan for her, and Judye knew that her purpose in life was to serve her God in all she did. Judye’s faith never failed her and lifted her up through any challenge in life. She was a beautiful person inside and out. All Judye’s memories have left permanent footprints on the hearts of her husband, children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and countless friends. 1 Samuel 12:24 says, “But be sure to fear the LORD and serve him faithfully with all your heart; consider what great things he has done for you.” Judye Kay Ripley served her Lord and Savior everyday of her life and was blessed beyond measure with a beautiful family, wonderful friends and church family.
Judye Kay [Graul] Ripley age 77. On October 20, 2021 Judye sang her way into the presence of her Lord and Savior, passing away in the company of her family and in the comfort of her home. She won her 4-year cancer battle victoriously. Philippians 3:14, she has won her prize and is celebrating her victory with the Lord. Her positive attitude and joyful spirit have been an inspiration to all who knew her. Judye was born in the spring of 1944.
She is survived by her husband of 57 ½ years, Bob Ripley. Her children, Jodye and Scott Dennis, Todd and Angie Ripley, Skip and Melinda Ripley. Her grandchildren, Zachary and Andrea Dennis, Leah and Nathan Farrell, Ethan Dennis, Aaron and Jenny Ripley, Tyler and Abby Ripley, Grant Ripley and Elizabeth Ripley. Her beloved great-grandchildren, Amelia, Henry, Grady, Elliott, Caleb and Cooper. Her sister, Sylvia McNitt and her children. Her beloved sister in love, Dianne Ripley and her children. Numerous cousins and countless friends from her homes in Michigan and Florida.
Cremation has taken place. The memorial service to celebrate her life and legacy has been scheduled to take place at First Evangelical Covenant Church, (1933 Tremont Blvd NW, Grand Rapids, MI 49504) on Tuesday November 2, 2021 at 11:00 AM. Visitation will take place at Heritage Life Story Funeral Home, Alt-Shawmut Chapel on Monday, November 1, 2021 from 5-8 PM. and prior to the service beginning at 10:00 AM. Memorial contributions may be made to First Evangelical Covenant Church or to Spectrum Health Foundation, Libby Glasscock McDaniel Endowed Fund for Gynecological Cancer, (25 Michigan St. NE, Grand Rapids, MI 49503). To read more of Judye’s life story, leave a memory or condolence please visit www.heritagelifestory.com