Richard E. Riipi | News, Sports, Jobs

NEGAUNEE — Richard Ernest “Rich” Riipi, 70 years old, from Negaunee, died peacefully at his basin home on July 4, 2021, in the loving care of his family, after a battle with pulmonary fibrosis.

Rich was born on September 25, 1950 in Hancock, a son of Ernest and Mildred (Lexson), and grew up in Stanton Township.

He grew up in the ranks of junior hockey, playing for the Portage Lake Flyers and the Copper Country Chiefs.

After graduating from Houghton High School in 1968, Rich attended the University of Wisconsin where he played hockey and later returned to Copper Country to work for Valley Plumbing and Heating in Dollar Bay. He became a journeyman plumber, joining Union Local 111 and working multiple jobs through the union. He later worked for Industrial Piping and John E. Green Mechanical Contracting, where he retired as a regional supervisor of the Upper Peninsula.

On October 7, 1972, Rich married his high school sweetheart, Georgia Hainault. Together, the couple enjoyed family activities, especially after their children and grandchildren’s hockey activities. The couple also enjoyed spending time at their basin home, surrounded by family and close friends, and wintering in Florida on Marco Island. Rich also liked a good round of golf, going to a deer park and, in later years, fishing.

In addition to his parents, Rich was preceded in death by a sister, Elsa Strayer and a brother, Alfred Dawes.

Rich is survived by his loving wife, aged 48, Georgia; his three children, Linnea and her children, Ian Adams, Theo Adams and Quinn Adams; Sonja (Calvin) Dellies with their children, Austin, Drew Dellis, Jaylee Dellis, Easton Dellis, Evan Dellis; and Ryan (Sherida) and their children, Owen and Nash; his brother, Matt (Linda) of Marquette; his cousins, Erin, Adam Strayer and Lauren Strayer; his Dead River best friend, Steve Krook; and his AKA smart dog, Ruby.

Private family services will be held to honor his request.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be addressed to Marquette Senior Redmen Varsity Hockey, c/o 310 W. Washington Street, Marquette, MI 49855.

Fassbender Swanson Hansen Funeral and Cremation Services serves the family, condolences can be expressed online at

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