Darrel Downing Rippeteau

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Darrel Downing Rippeteau, D e l ray Beach, FL., passed away peacefully amidst relatives Monday, Feb. 8, 2016. He had celebrated his 99th birthday on Jan. 14, 2016. Born in 1917, to Claude Laverne and Eva Downing Rippeteau in Clay Center, he became a prominent architect in the U.S. Northeast, operating from Watertown and Syracuse, N.Y., with his firm designing schools and public buildings, such as the NYS Justice Building on the Empire State Campus in Albany. In 1939, he married Donna Doris Hiatt of Odell, a UNL graduate. They were married almost 50 years when Donna passed in 1988. Mr. Rippeteau graduated from the University of Nebraska School of Architecture with a BA, in 1941, and was commissioned a second lieutenant, going on active duty in 1942. He taught artillery at Ft Sill, OK., was later the XO of the ghost armies unit of WWII (now declassified; described in P. Gerard's book "Secret Soldiers", Dutton 2002) at Pine Camp, now Ft. Drum, N.Y., and was later on Eisenhower's staff at the Pentagon, retiring from the U.S. Army Reserves as a lieutenant colonel. After WWII, Rippeteau's lifework was architecture , rising in 1974 to managing partner of the large firm Sargent, Webster, Crenshaw and Folley architects, engineers and d e s i g n e rs and becoming a fellow of the AIA. Mr. Rippeteau strongly favored hiring graduates of the UNL Architecture School for their excellence, and later endowed three current UNL scholarships emphasizing business development. Darrel was a rotarian (Paul Harris Fellow), a chairman of the NYS Forest Practices Board, a private pilot and often returned to family properties and friends around  Beatrice, Odell, Clay Center and Hastings, and in adjacent Wyoming and Colorado. Mr. Rippeteau is survived by his second wife of almost 25 years, Joyce Spencer, of Delray Beach, FL., his children by his first wife, Donna: Dr. Bruce (Sandra) of Lincoln; Mr. Darrel Jr. (Judy) of Washington D.C.; and Mrs. Jane Heffron (Kevin) of London, England; six grandchildren, and eight great-grandchildren. A memorial service and a burial of his ashes, with military honors, are planned for the summer.

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