It is with profound sadness that we share the news of the passing of Kon Rippert – beloved husband, father, grandfather, brother, uncle, mentor and friend. As a man of faith, honor, integrity and character, Kon always had a smile, wave or a tease for everyone he met. Kon had a gruff exterior, but he was a teddy bear on the inside, never more evidenced than the look in his eyes when he saw his grandchildren. His strong, caring character is the legacy he passes on to his family.
The Qu’Appelle Valley had Kon’s heart. He and Joyce moved to Fort Qu’Appelle in 1966 with their first daughter, Jennifer, to establish their home in the valley. Kon then started Marine Services, which evolved into a track, dolly and dock manufacturing business over the 54 years he owned and operated it. Kon built the family home with his own hands in 1971 and the family moved in with their second daughter, Kerri. The family defended that home from the flood of 1974, the same year their third daughter, Kristal, was born. After a total loss fire in 1997, Kon rebuilt the family home and established his business at the top of the Valley, where it continues today.
In his early years, Kon raced high speed boats and snowmobiles. His love of speed gave way to 10 pin bowling, hockey, curling and skiing; he was a proud member of the Old Timers hockey team and was forever a supporter of the Saskatchewan Roughriders. Kon had a strong commitment to community as evidenced through his time as a 30+ year Rotarian, hosting Rotary Youth Exchange students and being involved in the development of countless community projects. He was a very active member of the Volunteer Ambulance Service when it began in Fort Qu’Appelle. Kon was a member of the Fort Qu’Appelle town council and was one of the original five that established Mission Ridge Ski Hill. Kon cared deeply for his community and wanted to see it not only survive, but thrive. Kon was an early supporter of the Fort Winter Festival and actively participated in the fundraising efforts of his daughters, resulting in frequently being mistaken as a Bingo Palace employee. He gave up his May 24th weekends to ensure the smiles of many lakeside residents by getting their boats running and on the Calling Lakes so they could enjoy the water as much as he did.
Kon was a loyal and caring friend and moved through the community supporting and encouraging his friends: stopping by a local business to ask the owner how they are doing or taking a struggling friend for coffee or a sandwich to lift their spirits through a difficult time. Kon was a “buy local” champion, firmly believing this kept his community strong and viable.
Kon’s pride and joy were his family and friends; he loved travel, family ski trips, extended family gatherings, mock ‘Stampede breakfasts’, Sunday days off on the boat on the lakes surrounding the Fort, and rousing board games and cards with friends and family. He had a soft spot for animals and any animal that darkened his door always found love, food and a welcoming home.
He was predeceased by his niece, Cheryl Niven. Kon is survived by his wife Joyce; daughters, Jennifer (Sheldon) Green, Kerri (Allan) Beuker, and Kristal (Darrin) Heise; grandchildren, Aiden and Addison Green, Lexi and Sofi Beuker, Brandon and Alyssa Heise; sister Maria (Adolf) Volk; brother Henry (MaryAnn) Rippert; and nieces, Lisa (Dean) Rushka, Stacey Rippert and Tanya (Rob) Anand.
A celebration of Kon’s Life will take place at a later date. In his memory, Kon’s family asks that donations be made to the All Nations’ Healing Hospital Charity Fund (STARS Helipad Fund) in his name.
Eyes closed, feet up, rushing wind on faces. Time stands still. Gliding along, rhythmic thunk, splash…engine purrs, easing ever more swiftly into the mystic… sun dancing on ripples. He stands at the helm, contented, at peace with the world and joy in his heart. Go well, dear heart.
Family and friends are invited to view the online obituary and tributes page at www.reginafuneralhome.ca
Arrangements entrusted to Regina Funeral Home and Cemetery (306) 789-8850.