He was born May 9, 1940, in Brazil, the son of Sidney R. and Kathryn G. Lucas Ripple. He married Rosada Tarrant in Watseka, Ill., on August 3, 1968.
He is survived by his wife of 43 years Rosie, two daughters Tina (Ronald) Francis, Pittsburgh, Pa., and Carrie (Jim) McCain, Milford, Ill., one son Charles (Carol Ann) Ripple, Woodstock, Ill., two grandchildren Samuel and Kate Francis, one sister Kathryn (Duane) Butt, Brazil, one niece Ashley (Allen) Zavela, Mt. Zion, Ill., and one nephew Austin (Courtney) Smith, Noblesville.
He was preceded in death by his parents and one brother-in-law Robert Smith.
Sam received his bachelor's and master's degrees in teaching from Indiana State University, Terre Haute. He began his teaching career in Watseka, Ill., in 1962, at Watseka High School, where he taught freshman science, typing, general business and accounting. He was a prom sponsor for many years.
As an avid computer and electronics enthusiast, he took his own home Radio Shack computer to school for his accounting students to use, thereby initiating the computer program at the high school. He was a 31-year member of the Unit 9 Education Association and the Illinois Education Association. He was a lifetime member of the National Education Association. Upon retirement, Sam worked as the "mail boy," in addition to small maintenance jobs at Iroquois Federal Savings and Loan in Watseka from 1993-2005. He was a locally known computer service and maintenance advisor.
He was a dedicated Ham Radio operator and a lifetime member of the American Radio Relay League. He was a member of the Iroquois County Amateur Radio Club, serving as secretary/treasurer for 31 years. He was also a member of the Kankakee Area Radio Society. Sam worked with communications for the Red Cross, the Sheriff's Department, the Emergency Service Disaster Agency, Illinois Emergency Management Association and was a Civil Defense volunteer for over 30 years. He was selected Citizen of the Year for the Red Cross and the Modern Woodmen of America. He enjoyed his affiliation with the Triple Nine Racing Club, Brazil. He liked to shoot and was an advocate for concealed carry in Illinois.
Visitation will be from 1 p.m., until the 4 p.m. funeral service on Saturday, April 7, 2012, at Knapp Funeral Home in Watseka, Ill. Pastor James Harkins will officiate. Cremation rites will be accorded after the services. A family graveside service and burial will be at a later date in Oak Hill Cemetery in Watseka, Ill.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Iroquois County Amateur Radio Club, American Red Cross of Iroquois County or Iroquois Memorial Hospice.
Please sign the online guest book at knappfuneralhomes.com.