Ronald J. "Ripp" Rzepecki, Sr., 71, passed away Dec. 29, 2012. Born June 14, 1941, Ronnie â€" or Ripp as he was known. He was first and foremost a husband, father and in recent years an especially proud grandfather. Before his retirement in 2003, he worked for the Erie Fire Department for 35 ½ years where he was a brave and selfless colleague. Upon retirement he was presented with the Certificate of Merit for his dedicated years of service. Just months after Ron left the department, he suffered a stroke, and, for nine years, he fought to overcome that setback. In November he was faced with another challenge he could not overcome. Ron attended St. Casimir's School and was a 1959 East High School graduate. He was a strong supporter of Notre Dame, Cubbies and Sea Wolves. Ron was an outstanding high school athlete in baseball, football and basketball. In 1958 he was on the East High City Championship football team. He played on various softball teams, including the Fenestra Inc. Industrial PA State Championship team. When he was not working at the firehouse that he loved so much, he was a part-time employee of Pastore Brothers. For 35 years he was an expert and fastidious painter, a skill he taught numerous relatives. Ronnie was a member of St. John the Baptist Church, the Glenwood Park YMCA, the Erie Maennerchor and Siebenbuerger clubs and the Erie Elks Lodge #67. He is survived by his very caring and devoted wife of 50 years Mary Joan (Langer); his four children Ann Marie (Steve) Tylman, Euclid, Ohio; Laurie (John) Kifer, Erie; Ron "Ripper" (Felisa), Fairview; and Dan (Jenn), Odenton, Md.; and grandchildren Ryan, Stanley, Ella and Laila. Other survivors include sisters-in-laws Mary Joyce (Bob) McGee; Mary Margaret (Jim) Orloff; Karen (Jim) Romanski and Rose Rzepecki; brothers-in law H. Jack (Maria) Langer, Tom (Mariann) Langer, Dennis (Ellen) Langer and Carl Mrozowski. Ronnie was preceded in death by his parents Stanley and Alice Puzarowski Rzepecki, and his brother Lenny and his sister Lorraine Mrozowski. Friends are invited to call at the Francis V. Kloecker Funeral Home, Inc. 2502 Sassafras St. Erie, PA 16502 on Wednesday between 2 p.m. and 4 p.m., and 6 p.m. and 8 p.m. A service will be held there on Thursday at 9:00 a.m., followed by the Funeral Mass at St. John the Baptist Church at 10 a.m. Burial will be in Gate of Heaven Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Aseracare Hospice, 1600 Peninsula Dr., Erie, PA 16505 or National Fallen Fire Fighters Foundation, PO Drawer 498, Emmitsburg MD, 21727 Send condolences to www.kloeckerfuneralhome.com
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Published in the Erie Times-News on Jan. 1, 2013