Willard M. “Bill” Ripka, 90, of Granite City, passed away on Friday, Sept. 30, 2016, at Stearns Nursing & Rehabilitation Center in Granite City.
He was born on Aug. 27, 1926, in Meta, Mo., a son to the late Willard H. and Nora (Fitzpatrick) Ripka. Willard gave over 42 years at Granite City Steel, retiring in 1988. He attended Emmanuel Baptist Church in Granite City and loved sports, especially the St. Louis Cardinals. He proudly served his country during WW II in the United States Navy and in his free time enjoyed spending time with his family and friends.
He is survived by and will be missed by his wife of nearly 70 years, Virginia C. (Wilson) Ripka, whom he married on Nov. 2, 1946; his sons, Larry Ripka of Meta, Mo., Terry Ripka of Granite City; his daughter, Shari Bogovich of Maryville; his grandchildren, Joshua Bogovich, Lindsay Bogovich, Leigh Ann and (Nick) Noel; great-grandson, Rafe Noel; and sister, Anna J. Osborne.
In addition to his parents, Willard was preceded in death by his son-in-law; Michael Bogovich; his sister, Judith Hornsby; and his brothers, Marshall Ripka and Amuel Ripka.
In celebration of Willard’s life, friends may call from 11 a.m. until the time of the service at noon Tuesday, Oct. 4, 2016, with Pastor Ben Ritz officiating at Irwin Chapel, 3960 Maryville Road in Granite City. Burial will follow with military rites at Sunset Hill Memorial Estates in Glen Carbon. Memorials are suggested to Emmanuel Baptist Church, 1800 Pontoon Road in Granite City.