A life lived with passion came to a quiet close when John Richard Ripp died on April 2, 2019, in his home by the waters of the Caloosahatchee that he loved in North Fort Myers, Florida.
John was born on Oct. 16, 1981, in Port Charlotte, Fla., near Fort Myers where he spent his childhood and later returned in adulthood. In all of his 37 years, John never once met a stranger – he was a natural-born salesman who left an impression on everyone he met, thrived on people, and vigorously pursued his lifelong loves of golf, fishing, cars, and more.
After growing up in Florida, John moved to Wisconsin with his parents and brother as a teenager. He attended Waunakee schools and graduated from St. John’s Military Academy before entering the U.S. Navy.
Throughout his life, John worked in the golf industry, construction business, auto sales, and nonprofit world. His job as a golf pro at some of Wisconsin’s finest golf courses intersected with his great passion for the sport. He also loved to fish, particularly at his Grandpa Ripp’s cottage in Phillips, Wis., on Wisconsin’s many lakes, and in his beloved Florida.
John was a big dreamer who could light up a room and loved people, but he also had a hard time finding contentment in everyday life and always wanted more. He struggled with substance abuse for much of his life.
After living in both Wisconsin and Florida, John returned to Florida permanently in the fall of 2017, where he worked as a Project and Claims Analyst for Roman Roofing. This was just after Hurricane Irma damaged many homes, and John used his negotiating skills to get many families more money than they ever thought they could from their insurance companies.
John loved the people he worked with and was passionate about his job, which drew on many of the attributes he exhibited throughout his life – salesmanship, charisma, and passion. Whether it was convincing a loved one of the right car to buy or finding ways to help families get larger payouts as they rebuilt their homes and lives, John was the human embodiment of the idea that “no” just meant he hadn’t convinced you to say “yes” yet.
He was preceded in death by his grandparents, Roman (Doris) Ripp and Harold (Annabelle) Iverson. He is survived by his wife Alicia and their son, Ari, father Richard (Pam) Ripp, mother Sue Iverson, brother Mark (Crystal) Ripp and their son Hank; aunts and uncles on his father’s side Mike (Teresa) Ripp, Jean (Jim) Reisinger, Carole (Bob) Buchmiller, Anita (Pat) Wahl, and Phyllis (Dennis) Tietz; great-uncles and aunts on his mother’s side Jim Swenson, Sally Iverson, and Anne (Larry) Syftestad; and many cousins, friends, co-workers, and other loved ones.
Everyone who knew John will never forget his always infectious smile – it will remind them of the many memories and happy times that only a one-of-a-kind like John Ripp could have brought the world.