Frank G. Rippl
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Frank G. Rippl

Appleton - The gentle soul of Frank Rippl, 71, passed on Aug. 11, 2018 with his wife by his side. He was a musician, educator, liturgist and lifelong mentor to many of his former students. He taught vocal music in Appleton elementary schools for 33 years, holding a BME from Lawrence University, a Master's from Denver University, and further graduate studies at the Royal School of Church Music in England, the Cleveland Institute of Music, and the Royal Conservatory of Music at the University of Toronto. He is listed in Who's Who in American Education.

He began playing organ at St. Mary's Menasha, later at St. Bernard's, and then was Organist / Choirmaster at All Saints' Episcopal Church in Appleton, Wisconsin from 1971 to 2018 exulting in the beauty of liturgical and Anglican church music. He was co-founder of the Appleton Boychoir and conducted and served as its organist for over 26 years before retiring in 2010. He initiated the Boychoir's very popular Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols held each Christmas in the Memorial Chapel at Lawrence University. During Frank's tenure, they performed as choir-in-residence at the Green Lake Festival of Music under Sir David Willcocks, and toured nationally and internationally.

He was past dean of the Northeastern Wisconsin Chapter of the American Guild of

Organists, was active in the Organ Historical Society (OHS) and the Packerland Theatre Organ Society, and performed on Minnesota Public Radio's "Pipedreams". He wrote concert reviews for The Diapason, the national journal of the OHS. Frank studied organ at Lawrence University under his mentor Prof. Miriam Clapp Duncan and many years later with Wolfgang Rübsam.

Frank founded the Lunchtime Organ Recital Series in 1996, hosting organists from all over the country to perform summer concerts in local churches, which celebrated their history and architecture with the best in organ literature.

He played theatre organ for silent movies for over 20 years as part of the American Theatre Organ Society for films of Chaplin, Keaton and others. He loved teaching and the pipe organ, and combined these two great passions by giving private organ lessons. He was especially proud to have so many former students and Boychoir members who went on to careers in church music, including Dr. Paul Weber, Dr. John Schwandt, Dan Schwandt, Dr. Mark Paisar, Don Verkuilen, and Blake Doss.

Frank participated in "Creating Original Opera with Children," a national program at NY's Metropolitan Opera, so technically Frank could say he sang at the Met. For many years he did a lecture/demonstration of the Lawrence Chapel pipe organ for Appleton 6th Graders including themes from Harry Potter, Star Wars and J.S. Bach. Frank reveled in the wonder of children discovering the magic of music, and they responded to his excitement. Through Peter and the Wolf and Amahl and the Night Visitors, from "ta-ta-ti-ti-ta" to Toccata and Fugue in D Minor, Frank opened their ears and imaginations. Over decades he impacted thousands of young lives.

Frank said the smartest thing he ever did was to marry singer and teacher Carol Jegen. They loved performing together in benefit concerts of Gershwin, Kern and others. In 2007, they were presented with the Hanns Kretzschmar Award for Excellence in the Arts. Carol was a faithful member of his church choir, drove him to many organ events, and in turn he accompanied and avidly followed the careers of many of her voice students. They shared everything together, including much laughter.

In 2007, Frank received the Rotary Club Paul Harris Service Award for service to the community and played for weekly meetings. While a student at Lawrence he was Vince Lombardi's favorite pianist at Alex's Crown Restaurant, as cited in David Moraniss' "When Pride Still Mattered." In 2014 Frank took on the job of director for the new Memory Project choir, "On a Positive Note", for those suffering from memory loss and their families.

Frank is survived by Carol, his devoted wife of 43 years; his brothers Bill, Rick and his wife Marie, and Dan and his wife Becky; his nephews and nieces: Tom Rippl and Dr. Deidre Rippl of Milwaukee, Katie and Brian Weber of Neenah, Sandra Wilton and Shane Steele of Tallahassee, John and Christin Wilton of Aurora, David and Amanda Wilton-Green of Austin, Jason Rippl and Marnie Spielbauer of Neenah, Justin and Alicia Rippl of Verona, Stephanie and Adam Hooyman of Appleton, Josh Kaul and Lindsay Powell of Madison, Ryan Kaul and Kelly Bridgeman of Los Angeles, Rebecca and Brandon Johnson of Fond du Lac, David and Ellen Rippl of Madison, Karen and Joel Jones of Mt. Pleasant MI; many grandnieces and nephews; and his sister and brother-in law Joanne and Donald Wilton of Houston and Llyn Dudley of Tucson.

Frank was given a lift by so many of his friends because he always gave them a lift. Despite his many physical challenges, he overcame these and lived with dignity and grace, inspiring all who knew him. His funeral service will be held on Tuesday, August 21 at 11:00 am at All Saints' Episcopal Church at 100 N. Drew St., Appleton WI. Memorial donations may be directed to All Saints' Episcopal Church, the Appleton Boychoir or his family for an organ scholarship.






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Published in Appleton Post-Crescent from Aug. 12 to Aug. 19, 2018.
MEMORIAL EVENTS
AUG
21
Funeral service
11:00 AM
MEMORIES & CONDOLENCES
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44 entries
August 6, 2019
Cant believe its been almost a year since you went home with the Lord. I remember going to Lincoln school in Appleton for Boy Scout stuff and heard the piano playing so I opened the door to peek inside to hear more n there you sat. I was in aww by far you were one of my top favorites. Miss you n your smiling face. Your old elementary student Theresa Bushman-Hofman
Theresa hofman
Student
August 22, 2018

He was a great, dear treasure with great musical gifts and never-ending delightful sense of humor!

Georgie Harris
August 19, 2018
Carol, we are so very sorry for your loss. Love and prayers to you in this difficult time, and always.
Cade, Debbie and Brandon Wilson
August 19, 2018
Memory Eternal!

Frank will never be forgotten. Carol: deepest condolences. He was a great neighbor, and I was pleased to hear his organ "practicing" (as though he had to practice...) on Saturdays nights when setting up for Vespers. He was a role model of Christian kindness and demeanor. I am sure Our Lord was delighted to receive him into His Heavenly Kingdom.
Subdeacon Afanassy Kressner
August 18, 2018
So sorry for your great loss.
August 18, 2018
Dear Carol,

I just received word from our fellow LU classmate Nick Candee that Frank has passed away. I was very sorry to hear this news as I remember both of you well from our times together at Lawrence where I spent my first year in the Conservatory majoring in Fr. Horn and minoring in piano.

Frank had an extraordinary gift for the organ, and I was fascinated to read about where this gift took him. I undoubtedly heard him playing theatre organ while watching TCM films (a passion of mine!).

Please accept my sincere condolences. May God be with you during this difficult time, and may Frank rest in peace in God's loving embrace.

Suzanne Detry Arendt
Suzanne Detry Arendt
August 17, 2018
Dear Carol,

Jean wrote to tell me of Frank's passing, which I received with great sadness. I have so many fond memories of Frank and you during my time in Appleton...

Peace and love to you and your family,

David Saladino, Berea, KY
August 17, 2018
Thank you for sharing Frank with us at the Appleton Rotary Club, we will miss his talents at the piano, his gentle soul and humor. Blessings to Frank's family during this difficult time.

Nancy Leipzig, President Appleton Rotary Club
August 16, 2018
Thank you Mr. Rippl for being such a great teacher at the Appleton Boy's Choir. You made such an impact on so many lives. Prayers to your family and friends during this difficult time.
Jake Bergstrom
August 15, 2018
What a huge loss to the community! I join in their sorrow, for there will never be another like him.
Tom Froehlich/Dallas
August 15, 2018
Dear Carol,
I am so sorry for your loss. Heaven is listening to some beautiful music tonight.
Frank was a beautiful soul and he will be greatly missed.
I will keep you and your family in my prayers during this time of loss and healing.
Ruby LeMoine
August 15, 2018
Dear Carol,
I am very sorry to hear of your loss. Frank was a kind and gentle soul. Heaven is enjoying his beautiful music today.
I will keep you in my thoughts and prayers during this time of loss.
He will be missed by all.
Ruby LeMoine
August 15, 2018
Dear Carol
My deepest condolences, the world has lost a great artist and soul.
Tom Stadler
August 15, 2018
Dear Carol,

I always enjoyed watching you and Frank team up for the cabaret performances. Those were the most special performances of the evening. You both shared your musical gifts with humor, grace, tenderness and love.

Thinking of you at this time.
Lisa Wesenberg
August 15, 2018
DEAR CAROL-

Our heartfelt condolences to you and all the family . He will live on in the hearts and minds of many! He was a remarkable musician and human being and a friend to all who knew him. Peace and blessings!
Bob and Helen
Robert Dedmon
August 15, 2018
Carol, I am sorry for your loss. I have seen what my dad has gone through since my mom married 60 years to him has left that hole. I can only imagine you are going through something similar.

I have been to the silent movies he played organ with. Fun times. When the modern technology was putting things behind, he was humorous about it.
Karen Blohm
August 15, 2018
Mr. Rippl will be dearly missed in the community. He was my music teacher back in the day & I was thrilled when he was my daughters teacher at Columbus. R.I.P
August 14, 2018
shine bright
August 14, 2018
Thank you for teaching me that music is more than sound, music itself teaches more than one can imagine. Knowing this my daughter has prospered and will continue to do so in her challenges she faces in learning in all areas. I will be forever telling her all about you and that your playing music for us all.
August 14, 2018
"The community of St. Mary Catholic High School sends its thoughts and prayers to the loved ones of Frank Rippl, a member of the class of 1965. May he rest in peace."

Sue Peters
Alumni Relations Coordinator
St. Mary Catholic Schools
August 14, 2018
What a wonderful person, so generous and caring, as well as dedicated to the WORLD of music. I will share a little section of a longer reading called Why Should I learn Music? It seems to perfectly describe Frank: "We learn music so that we will be more human, so that we may recognize beauty, so that we will be more sensitive, so that we will be closer to the Infinite, so that we will have something to be a special companion, so that we will have more love, more compassion, more gentleness, more GOOD...in short, more LIFE."
To Carol and all Frank's family, I offer my sincere support and prayers at this time.
Ellen Scheibe
Holy Cross Kaukauna
August 13, 2018
So sorry Carol. What a wonderful legacy he leaves here in Appleton!
Connie raether
August 13, 2018
Deepest condolences and prayers for y'all. Mr.Rippl was an amazing music teacher and an excellent friend. He cared deeply about his students and his teaching staff. Never drove a car and always rode a bike. Many fond memories. Huge loss
Theresa Bushman-Hofman
August 13, 2018
Do sorry Carol
Julie Daily
Friend
August 13, 2018
What a generous and gentle soul! We who are left miss him already.
Linda Muldoon
Friend
August 13, 2018
I had the privilege of having Frank as my music teacher in kindergarten and 1st grade and later knowing him as a friend. He inspired generations of musicians and I include myself in that category unequivocally. His loss is a hard blow to the fox cities community and I will miss him immensely.
Aimee Weber
Student
August 13, 2018
Frank has always been a consummate pianist and performer, loved by the community for as long as I can remember. He was who I called on one specific day when I was scheduled to sing and my accompanist had become deathly ill. He filled in, at the last minute, and, of course, handled it with his unbelievable skill.

My heart goes out to his wife and I pray that she can muster up all that is required at a difficult time like this. God bless you, Carol, and grant you comfort and peace. Your Frank will be sorely missed!
Pat Marsh-Severin
Friend
August 13, 2018
Dear Carol, with love and prayers. Frank meant a lot to me and to so many other people. His gifts will live on through those he has touched with his music, stories, and loving demeanor. I pray for him, you, and the families. With love, Sara
August 13, 2018
We're so sorry to hear this news. What a kind and talented man. We feel lucky to have known him and we'll always appreciate the legacy of music and mutual, global respect he shared.
Laura and Vince Biskupic
August 13, 2018
I had the privilege of knowing Frank as he share his musical talents with his occasional performances with the Fox Valley Symphony during the years I played with them. I was delighted when my son had him as his music teacher K-6 at Columbus and later as his organ instructor. Families can be together forever through the gospel of Jesus Christ. Carol, treasure your memories until you can be reunited again!
Ellen Steichen Blodgett
Acquaintance
August 13, 2018
I'll miss you, Frank. Heaven has another angel.
Sherri Denney
Student
August 13, 2018
Frank was an inspiration to many. His enormous musical talents, sense of humor, and kind spirit made him a leader in the Appleton community. He will be sorely missed. Blessings and love to his family, and especially his wife, Carol.
Nancy Hallin
August 12, 2018
What sad news to hear that dear Frank was called home. In the years that I have known Frank through the Appleton Boy Choir and the Mastersingers, he was a great gentle man with a love for God, people and music in that order. Kathleen will be forever grateful to Frank for bringing the Wednesday organ concerts to the Valley. She also loved his silent movie presentations. God bless you Carol in the days to come, remember the Lord has his arms around you to give you peace. Farewell my friend!
Dennis & Kathleen Bowman
August 12, 2018
Frank was a gift to this community and to the world at large. He touched so many lives in so many ways. Yes, he was a fine musician, teacher, organist - but he was a fine man in so many more ways. We will deeply miss him.
Victoria Rotzel
August 12, 2018
Carol what a sad day i will miss Frank.. it was a pleasure working with him at Lincoln for over 20 years, I will remember the trip to Russia and Poland with the boy Choir and giving him rides home after staff meetings on Wednesdays.I will hold treasured memories.. It was an honor to have known him. Pat Bacon
August 12, 2018
I worked with Frank at Lincoln Elementary School for many years. What a kind and talented man he was! His memory lives on when we sing the song he wrote for Lincoln School. My condolences to those who loved Frank.
Loo Molloy
August 12, 2018
A memorable teacher...so sad to hear about this today.
Hilary French Samsa
Student
August 12, 2018
I knew Frank from his work with the Appleton boy choir, AGO, and his many years of the summer organ recital series. He was, as many have stated; a kind gentle man. He gave so much to all of us. Rest in peace.
Janelle Bonson
August 12, 2018
Carol, we are so sorry to hear this. You are in our prayers. We will be in touch. Frank was a wonderful, kindhearted man. We are grateful to have known him. Tom and Lori Maves
Tom and Lori Maves
August 12, 2018
Bob Mathewson
August 12, 2018
Frank was the most talented and sincere organist I have ever met. His love for the organ back in High School instilled in me his love for music. Thank You, Frank.
Pat Birling, Van Vreede
Classmate
August 12, 2018
Thanks be to God for the life and work / ministry of Frank Rippl! May his heart and soul now sing forth in joy to you, the Living God, and the God of those who live! Amen! Alleluia!
May Carol, and all who have known and loved Frank find strength and hope to meet coming days. I extend my sincere condolences, and hold you in my prayers. Father D. Joe Dunlap, Peoria IL.
The Rev. D. Joe Dunlap
August 11, 2018
What a dear man. The world is a little less kind today. Much love to you Carol.
August 11, 2018
Laurie Friedman-Fannin
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