Dorothy R. Ripley (1918 - 2009)

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  • "Mrs. Ripley was a fantastic educator,I still remember her..."
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  • "Mrs. Ripley was my fourth grade teacher and always one of..."
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Dorothy Rhame Ripley, 90, of Bozeman peacefully passed away on April 21, 2009. The youngest of four children, she was born on Dec. 28, 1918, in Minneapolis, Minn., to George Arthur Rhame and Edith Prior Rhame.

Dorothy was raised in Minneapolis until her high school years, when the family moved to Oak Park, Ill. After high school graduation she attended the University of Minnesota-Minneapolis, majoring in art from 1936-1939. She also attended Northwestern University in Chicago and took business classes in 1943-44.

Dorothy met her future husband in 1933 while they were both in high school, and on June 7, 1946, she married Henry George Ripley Jr. in Oak Park. A year later they moved to Bozeman where George returned to college, an endeavor which had been interrupted by the war. Dorothy worked in a variety of locations as a bookkeeper, including Rolfe & Wood as well as the registrar's office and the department of film and TV at Montana State College (MSC). In 1962 she graduated from MSC with a degree in elementary education and taught third and fourth grade, primarily at Longfellow Elementary, until retirement in 1982.

Downhill skiing was always an important part of the family life, and she volunteered as the first bookkeeper for the Bridger Bowl Ski Area. Later in life Dorothy enjoyed volunteer work at the Museum of the Rockies, Bozeman Deaconess Hospital, and together she and George delivered Meals on Wheels.

Dorothy loved to dance, play bridge, garden, golf, and of course, ski. She loved music, and she and George were regular attendees at the Bozeman Symphony. During their retirement years they traveled extensively around the world, greatly enjoying the sights as well as the many friends they made on their travels.

She will be remembered by her children for instilling in them a love of reading, music and providing the freedom to explore the world that the Bridger Mountains had to offer, both on foot and horseback. After she retired and when the grandchildren were old enough to be away from home, they would take turns visiting their grandparents for a week in the summer. These times were precious to each child and included trips to the local swimming pool for lessons and fun, movies, reading and playing games with their grandparents.

Dorothy was preceded in death by George, her husband of 61 years, as well as her siblings, Frank, Henry and Helen.

She is survived by her children, Joan (Steve) Salusso of Divide, Ann Ripley of Helena, Carol (Bob) Sisk of Sedan, and Mills (Amy) Ripley of Gallatin Gateway. She is also survived by nine grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.

In lieu of flowers, suggested memorials may be made to Meals on Wheels, 807 N. Tracy Ave., Bozeman 59715; to Bozeman Deaconess Hospice, 915 Highland Blvd., Bozeman 59715; or to the charity of donor choice.

Cremation has taken place at Dokken-Nelson. A memorial service for both Dorothy and George will be held at 10:30 a.m. Saturday, June 6, at St. James Episcopal Church, 5 W. Olive St., Bozeman.

Arrangements are in the care of Dokken-Nelson Funeral Service;
Funeral Home
Dokken-Nelson Funeral Service
113 South Willson Avenue
Bozeman, MT 59715
(406) 587-3184
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Published in Bozeman Daily Chronicle from May 5 to May 6, 2009
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