Funeral services for Leon J. Ripperger, 73, of Melcher-Dallas, Iowa will be held on Tuesday, August 31, 2021, at 10:30 a.m. at the Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Melcher. Family will receive friends on Monday, August 30, 2021, from 4:00 to 7:00 p.m. at the Pierschbacher Funeral Home in Melcher-Dallas, Iowa.
Memorials may be made to the Melcher-Dallas Little League, the Dallcher American Legion Post 632, or the Melcher-Dallas Fire & Rescue.
The service will also be available on the Pierschbacher website at https://my.gather.app/remember/leon-joseph-ripperger
Leon Joseph Ripperger was born on March 22, 1948, in Bauer, Iowa to Fabian Ripperger and Laureen Hoch. He attended school at Bauer and later at Melcher, graduating from Melcher-Dallas High School in 1967. Leon married Judy Verwers on August 8, 1975, and they had 46 wonderful years together. Together, they were blessed with three sons: Shane, Brett, and Bryce who became brothers to their sister, Kris. He loved his children dearly and enjoyed spending time with them.
Leon spent six years in the Army Reserves. He also worked at Hess’ Rock Quarry. In 1968, he started at John Deere in Ankeny, retiring in 1998 at the age of 50 after 30 dedicated years. Leon was a loyal, hard-working man. He could often be found helping at his brother Daryl's hardware store on the square in Melcher. He and his father-in-law, Herman Verwers, also owned the car wash in town.
Leon had a hobby that turned into a business called “Mowers and More” where he enjoyed working with his brothers and longtime friends Doug Branson, Tom Gass, and others. He thoroughly enjoyed helping others and it was also a well-known gathering spot for Leon and his family and friends to meet up for coffee and “solve the world’s problems”.
Leon could be ornery, and also had a wonderful sense of humor, which made him the most awesome grandpa. He enjoyed treasure hunts with his grandchildren, buying them treats, teaching them things, and spoiling them. Like any loving grandpa, he just had a hard time telling them no. That’s what grandpas are for, and Leon was a fantastic one.
When Leon wasn’t at his mower shop, he enjoyed hunting. He liked to squirrel and deer hunt. From September to December each year, you could find him in the timber with his brothers hunting squirrels. Fishing was also enjoyable to Leon, especially overnight catfishing.
Leon was a solid, loyal, hard-working man. He was well known and loved by so many. Those left to cherish his memory are his wife of 46 years, Judy; his children: Kris (Mike) McCauley, Shane (Stephanie) Ripperger, Bryce Ripperger, and Brett Ripperger; grandchildren: Sam, Sydney, and Max (McCauley), Rachel, Emma, and Wyatt (Ripperger); step-grandchildren: Clint (Jordyn) Wetterling, Clay (Mady Riebhoff) Wetterling, Chase Wetterling, Addison Wadle; siblings: Yvonne (Leonard) Dhabalt, Daryl (Leona) Ripperger, Judy (George) Westendorf, Elaine Harty, Ivan (Michele) Ripperger, and Brian (Geri) Ripperger.
Leon was preceded in death by his parents, Fabian and Laureen; stepmother, Millie (Jensen) Ripperger; siblings, Everett Ripperger and Joyce Fortune; and brothers-in-law, Jerry Fortune and John Harty.
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