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Michael Ripple

Michael (Mike) Lynn Ripple, 71, of Des Moines, IA, passed away from natural causes on December 20, 2021. He was born on July 9, 1950, in Maquoketa, IA, and was the son of Agnese Ripple (Hayes) and J.C. Ripple.

Mike grew up in Cascade, IA, and graduated from Aquin High School in 1968. He attended the University of Iowa where he graduated with a business degree in 1973 and met his future wife, Molly Ripple (Schuster). They united in marriage, had four children, and settled in the Des Moines area where Mike enjoyed a successful career as a Mortgage Loan Officer and resident tax expert for his family and friends. Though they later divorced, Mike and Molly would remain friends and co-parents. He later met Carole Cook who would become his longtime companion and a very special presence in his children and grandchildren’s life.

When he wasn’t working, Mike could be found coaching his kids’ sports teams, attempting to break 100 on the golf course, playing poker with his friends, or enjoying many holidays and vacations with his family. He loved watching the Iowa Hawkeyes, Chicago Cubs, and any old western movie, and could be found most mornings plugging away at a crossword puzzle while enjoying a cup of black coffee. Mike is best known for his savvy euchre skills, voracious sweet tooth, Bloody Mary recipe, quick humor, and glorious head of hair.

Mike was tough and a two-time cancer survivor. Although in remission at the time of his death, his last battle with esophageal cancer took an enormous toll on his body. Through it all, Mike held steadfast to his Catholic faith and loved his family deeply.

He is survived by his four children: Ryan Ripple of Iowa City, IA, Dawn Freerks (Jeremy) of Solon, IA, Aaron Ripple (Sarah) currently stationed in Iwakuni, Japan, and Tara Lamb (Matt) of Iowa City, IA; six grandchildren: Emma, Eli, Evann, and Elea Freerks, Paige and Quinn Ripple; four siblings: Craig Ripple (Kathy) of Eldridge, IA, Roger Ripple (Julie) of Cascade, IA, Pat Hayes (Kathy) of Milwaukie, OR, and MaryAnn Reilly (Jay) of Omaha, NE. Mike is preceded in death by his parents; brother, Ronnie Ripple; and step-father, Joseph Hayes.


Funeral Services for Mike will be held at 11:00 AM on Wednesday, January 5, at St. Matthias Catholic Church in Cascade, IA. The family appreciates those who attend to wear a mask and follow proper Covid protocols.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Meals on Wheels.