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 Elizabeth Nancy “Betty” <I>Morley</I> Ripperger

Elizabeth Nancy “Betty” Morley Ripperger

Kansas City, Jackson County, Missouri, USA
Death 19 Jul 2015 (aged 98)
Austin, Travis County, Texas, USA
Burial Austin, Travis County, Texas, USA
Plot Sect 11, Lot 5, Grave 10SE
Memorial ID 149682447 · View Source
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Betty Ripperger
October 21, 1916 - July 19, 2015

Betty Ripperger passed away peacefully on Sunday July 19, 2015 in her home with her family around. Thus ended a long life peppered with family, travel, volunteering, joy and despair, and a steadfast devotion to what she believed was right.

She was born, the oldest of two girls, Elizabeth Nancy Morley on October 21, 1916 in Kansas City, Missouri to James Wesley and Clara Longaker Morley and affectionately called Betty Nan in her early days.

The child of a YMCA Secretary, she moved from city to city with her father's postings. She spoke lovingly of her father's jolly personality and of gathering around the piano as her mother played popular songs of the times. In her teen years, the family moved to Racine, Wisconsin where she attended McKinley Junior High and Washington Park High School and graduated in 1934. She was active in numerous clubs and in her church, sang in choirs, played field hockey, and, with 7 girlfriends, formed a club they dubbed the Optimistic Octagons. These young women remained in touch throughout their lives until they were Optimistic Octogenarians and beyond. Betty Nan was the last surviving OO.

After high school, her family moved to Kansas City where she worked as a clerk and attended Kansas City Junior College. There she met a young engineering student from Stover, Missouri. Distance divided them as he continued his schooling at Kansas State University in Manhattan, KS and she attended the University of Kansas. But he pursued their relationship with beautiful and romantic letters and upon his graduation, Eugene Arman Ripperger proposed and she accepted at the urging of her family. Betty and Rip married on June 23, 1940 and would have celebrated their 75th wedding anniversary this year.

Betty dove into her role as a homemaker with zeal, following the directions of the handbook on housekeeping she had checked out from the library at the beginning of the marriage. The couple first lived in Chicago where Betty set up house in a small apartment, and soon gave birth to their first child, Elizabeth Ann. In 1943, Rip joined the Navy and when he was shipped to the Pacific, Betty took up residence in Cincinnati with Annie and with Rip's sister Alice. They put in a Victory Garden in support of the war effort, were issued war ration tickets for groceries and waited. Betty made a small book of pictures of their everyday life to send to Rip and every night, Annie kissed a picture of her daddy before bed. Betty worried about kamikaze pilots and other dangers of the war, wondering if her beloved husband would return home alive. When Alice joined the WACS, Betty and Annie moved to Kansas City to live with her parents where she finished her degree in English Literature and Language. And when the war ended, they celebrated with the rest of the country.

After the war, Betty and Rip moved to Austin, Texas where they lived on East 1st Street and Rip began graduate school. From 1951-1952 the family lived in California where Rip earned his Ph.D., Betty worked at the Hoover Library at Stanford, and Emily Alice was born.

The family moved back to Austin where Rip joined the faculty at the University of Texas and Betty became active in the University Ladies Club, Faculty Wives Social Club, and T-Squares and later the Grandmother's Delight Club. She made long term friends in these groups and continued to attend meetings and luncheons until she was 97 years old. A third daughter, Jane Agnes, was born in 1955. Betty volunteered in numerous causes notably as a Girl Scout leader, a docent for the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center and the LBJ Library where she put in over 25 years, and at Covenant Presbyterian Church where she was a longtime member and worked in the church library, sang in the choir, and taught Sunday School. She and Rip were season ticket holders for the Austin Symphony Orchestra, the Austin Ballet Theater, the Gilbert and Sullivan Society, the Austin Opera, and for Longhorn basketball, volleyball, and baseball. They attended the NCAA Women's Final Four in Kentucky in 1986 and watched the Lady Longhorns become National Champions.

Through all this time Betty kept an impeccably clean and neat house where it was said one could eat off her floors. She drove her daughters to music and ballet lessons, swim team practice, Girl Scout meetings, band events, and scads of other activities and sewed their wedding dresses. She had dinner on the table every evening complete with salad and dessert and she ALWAYS had homemade cookies in the cookie jar.

Betty was a strong believer in the benefits of exercise and always participated in one form or another. She was a member of the ULC bowling league and still rolled an average of 135 when she retired at age 93. She played tennis, swam laps at Anna Hiss and Gregory gyms and the YWCA and in late life participated in water aerobics. She was still going to the exercise room until the last few months of her life.

She was exceedingly proud of her three daughters, her five grandchildren, and her four great-grandchildren though she never got to meet baby Ryann. She was a strong woman who was an archetypal member of the Greatest Generation. She loved to laugh and was good to the bone. She will be missed by all her family and her many good friends.

She was predeceased by her husband and sons-in-law Tom Jolly and Jim Eddins and is survived by her daughters, Ann Jolly (of San Rafael, CA), Emily Eddins, and Jane Ripperger-Suhler; her son-in-law, Ken Ripperger-Suhler; her grandchildren, Michelle Jolly (and husband Brian Andersen) of San Rafael, CA, Doug Jolly (and wife Heather Jolly) of Altadena, CA, Michael Eddins, Hana Leshner (and husband Harry Leshner) of Santa Monica, CA, and Daniel Ripperger-Suhler; and her great grandchildren, Erik Andersen, Thomas Jolly, Makaela Jolly, and Ryann Jolly.

A memorial service will be held on Saturday, September 5, 2015 at Covenant Presbyterian Church in Austin.

Donations may be made to the Girl Scouts, the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, the LBJ Library, or Covenant Presbyterian Church.

The family wishes to thank her caring companions, Barbara, Elena, Sylvia, Nathena, Demetria, and Chinwe, and the Brookdale Hospice staff, all of whom were kind, gentle, and helpful for the duration.

(Published by Weed-Corley-Fish Funeral Home, July 23, 2015)

Missouri, Marriage Records, 1805-2002
Name: Elizabeth Nancy Morley
Age: 23
Birth Date: abt 1917
Marriage Date: 17 Jun 1940
Marriage Place: Jackson, Missouri, USA
Spouse: Eugene A Ripperger

Family Members





  • Created by: Edith Guynes Stanley
  • Added: 23 Jul 2015
  • Find A Grave Memorial 149682447
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Elizabeth Nancy “Betty” Morley Ripperger (21 Oct 1916–19 Jul 2015), Find A Grave Memorial no. 149682447, citing Austin Memorial Park Cemetery, Austin, Travis County, Texas, USA ; Maintained by Edith Guynes Stanley (contributor 47114458) .