Thelma Jean Ripley

June 5, 1938January 5, 2014

Jean Ripley, 75, went to be with her Lord on January 5, 2014, at Sentara Hospital, Williamsburg. She was born on June 5, 1938 in Caperton,West Virginia and was the oldest of six children born to Gus and Maciel Gibson. She was preceded in death by her parents and her sister, Ruth Stewart.

Jean is survived by her husband Otto C. Ripley of 56 years and her two daughters, Shirley Sulenski-Hughes (Bruce Hughes) and Sandra Ripley and her three grandchildren, Courtney Sulenski, Matthew Sulenski and Aaron Ripley. She will also be missed by her two sisters, Betty Kilford and Judie Grablewski (Ron), her two brothers, Gus Gibson (Debi) and Bobby Gibson, her 20 nieces and nephews, 39 great nieces and nephews and 16 great-great nieces and nephews.

Jean was a 1957 graduate of James Blair High School and after her husband retired from the Air Force she decided to further her education by attending Thomas Nelson College where she received her paralegal degree and was a Claims Adjuster at Fort Eustis, then retired from Civil Service work after 25 years.

Jean was passionate about expanding her knowledge in many directions; always a book open, a regular at one of the organizations that she was a member of, and traveling to new places. She was a Charter Member of Wellspring Methodist Church, a member of the Master Gardeners of Williamsburg, TOPS, Toast Masters, the National Association of Retired Federal Employees and the Special Military Active-Retired Travel Club. She and her husband enjoyed years of travel with their RV Travel Club, and traveled extensively through Europe during his 20 years in the Air Force.

A service celebrating Jean’s life will be held at Wellspring Methodist Church on Thursday, January 9th at 1:00pm.

In lieu of flowers donations can be made in memory of Jean to Wellspring Methodist Church or to The American Breast Cancer Association.


  • Celebration of Life Thursday, January 9, 2014

Thelma Jean Ripley

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Shirley Sulenski-Hughes

January 20, 2014

Mom....I miss your smiling face, your heart of gold, your warm embrace...You and dad taught us to be strong ....I am who I am because of both of you....It so hard to say good-bye....but God must need you more then I !!

January 13, 2014

I was sorry to hear of Jean's passing. She was in my class at James Blair High School and we graduated together in 1957. I had enjoyed seeing her at monthly lunches at Sal's that our 1957 classmates attended after celebrating our 50th high school reunion.
Marianna Christian Broaddus (Glen Allen, VA)

Larry Tarwater

January 13, 2014

Tom, Jessie and Larry Tarwater and Ann Miller were sorrow to hear about Jean Ripley's passing. We enjoy having the family as neighbors and wish them comfort.

Brenda Hudgins

January 11, 2014

I am so sorry for the loss of your mother. You and your family will be in my prayers.

January 10, 2014

We were very sad to hear about your sisters passing.
Wally and I will keep you, Debi and your family in thought and prayer.
Wally and Linda Possich

January 9, 2014

Our words are filled with thoughts and understanding;and more than anything else, Hope that each day ahead will bring comfort. The ones we love are never gone- they live in our hearts forever. I love you all forever. Aunt Kay and family.

Willian Ripley

January 9, 2014

Dear Aunt Jean you will be miss by everyone you touch with your big heart and your great spirit. You were always there when anyone needed you. With such a big Heart and a great spirit. You will be miss by everyone you touch.

Joyce Wynne

January 9, 2014

Sorry for the lose of Jean,I know Jean and the family .I'm good. Friends with her sister prayers are with her and the family

Mike & Sandy Corbin

January 8, 2014

We are so sorry for your loss. Our thoughts and prayers are with you all at this time. Let God heal the pain and remember the good times you all shared. Mike & Sandy

Rose Whittingham

January 8, 2014

Otto,Gus, Bobby, Betty, and Judy, Shirley and Sandy, and the rest of the Family; I am so sorry for your losss. Jean will be greatly missed by all that knew her. I love her and know that she was a great sister=in=law, and a very fair and knowledgeable person. R.I.P. my friend.