Joseph S. Rippey

1963/1964 and 1964/1965

Joseph S. Rippey was elected Commander-in-Chief of the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War twice. The first time was at the 82nd National Encampment held in Miami, Florida , August 18 - 22, 1963 and the second time at the 83rd National Encampment held in Providence, Rhode Island, August 16 - 20, 1964. Brother Rippey's great-grandfather, John Smith, enlisted with the Pennsylvania Volunteers, and his grandfather, Bernard Smith, they being father and son, was a member of Company I, 54th Regiment, New York National Guard.

Initiated into Glidden-Pierce Camp, now Glidden-Pierce-Lamb Camp #6, of Rochester in 1951, he held the office of Camp Commander and most other Camp offices. He served as President of the Abraham Lincoln Association of Rochester. He was elected New York Department Commander in 1958 and again in 1959. Brother Rippey served the National Organization as a member of several committees, as chairman of the Committee on Americanism, chairman of the Committee on Legislation and as Senior Vice Commander-in-Chief.

Brother Rippey was a practicing attorney. He attended St. Andrew's Episcopal Church, where he was a Vestryman, and was for several years, its Senior Warden. He was active in many civic groups. His military record included four years in the U.S. Navy in World War II in the Southwest Pacific area, and in the office of the Chief of Naval Operations, holding the rank of Lieutenant Commander. He continued to be active in the Naval Reserve.

Brother Joseph S. Rippey served the SUVCW with distinction for 54 years. His death came on July 28, 2002 shortly before the 121st National Encampment of the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War. He was eulogized during the annual Memorial Service at the Encampment by New York Department Commander Todd Shillington. This stirring tribute made it evident to those who didn’t get the privilege of meeting Brother Rippey that he was not only extremely dedicated to the SUVCW but promoted the SUVCW at every opportunity.

August 1964 (updated August 2004 - KAP)