Richard E. Riipi | News, Sports, Jobs

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

Born on September 25, 1950 in Houghton, a son of Ernest and Mildred (Lexson) Riipi, Rich 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, and together the couple enjoyed family activities, especially after their children and grandchildren’s hockey activities. The couple also enjoyed spending time at their home on the Basin, 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. Rich was a dedicated LION FAN and every season hoping for a Super Bowl win, now this season he can help the coach whisper play in the ear.

Rich is survived by his loving wife of 48 years, Georgia; his three children, Linnea Riipi and her children, Ian Adams, Theo Adams and Quinn Adams; Sonja (Calvin) Dellies with their children, Austin Riipi, Drew Dellis, Jaylee Dellis, Easton Dellis, Evan Dellis; and Ryan (Sherida) Riipi and their children, Owen Riipi and Nash Riipi; his brother, Matt (Linda) Riipi of Marquette; niece, Erin (Mary Gallis) Riipi brother-in-law, Richard Buzinski; cousins, Nick (Olga) Buzinski, Gabe (Steffanie) Buzinski: sister-in-law, Sharon (Hainaut) Gary Lange; cousins, Jessie (Marissa) Lange and Jeremy Lange, niece, Jackie (Chad) Sayen; brother-in-law, David (Denise) Hainaut; cousin, Christopher Hainaut; his cousins, Adam Strayer and Lauren Strayer; his Dead River best friend, Steve Krook; and his aka smart dog, Ruby.

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

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, where their condolences can be expressed online at

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