Their bodies were found by police inside the charred ruins of their Silverado Country Club condominium on Westgate Drive. He was 100, and she was 98.
The Rippeys were the first victims to be identified among 15 people known to have perished in the fires ravaging Northern California.
Mr. Rippey apparently died trying to save his wife, one of their children told KPIX TV on Tuesday.
“From where they found his body, he was trying to get from his room to her room,” said the son, Mike Rippey. “He never made it. Even if he had gotten there, he wouldn’t have been able to get her out.”
The couple met in grade school in a small Wisconsin town, KPIX reported. They went on to attend the University of Wisconsin, and were together ever since.
Another son, Chuck Rippey, told KNTV that his father was a veteran of World War II, stationed in Europe and North Africa. He earned the rank of captain in the Army Corps of Engineers, the Napa Valley Register reported. He later worked for the Firestone Tire and Rubber Company and Norris Industries in Brea (Orange County), the Register said.
Mrs. Rippey was a homemaker and bridge player. Over the years, the couple was often spotted at the Napa Valley Country Club playing tennis and golf, the Register reported.
The couple was married on March 20, 1942, according to an announcement in the Register celebrating their 75th anniversary.
They are survived by five children, 12 grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren.
Source: San Francisco Chronicle