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Richard Ripple, professor emeritus of education, dies at 79

Richard Ripple

Richard E. Ripple, professor emeritus of education, died Sept. 16 at his home in Ithaca. He was 79 years old.

Ripple taught at Cornell for more than 40 years; his primary areas of expertise were human learning, adult development, improvement of instruction in higher education, education of gifted students, creative thinking and problem solving, the psychological bases of curriculum and life-span human development.

After graduating from Pulaski High School in Milwaukee, Ripple received a B.S. in elementary education at the University of Wisconsin in Milwaukee and taught sixth grade. He was drafted into the U.S. Army during the Korean War; after completing his tour of duty, he earned a master's and Ph.D. in education psychology at the University of Wisconsin while teaching sixth grade and playing saxophone and clarinet in a band on weekends to support his family.

Ripple joined Cornell in 1961. While at Cornell, he chaired the Department of Education for six years, was a senior Fulbright scholar at the University of Exeter in England and served as a visiting professor/scholar at such universities as the University of Hawaii, Monash University in Australia, the University of Southern California and the University of Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, South Africa.

In addition to publishing many scholarly articles, Ripple wrote several books on educational psychology and human development, including "Piaget Rediscovered" and "Handbook of Educational Psychology."

After retirement, Ripple served at Cornell as faculty-in-residence at Mews Hall for six years and as a faculty fellow at Mews Hall.

Survivors include his wife of 58 years, Jessie Ripple, a daughter, two grandchildren and other relatives.

Funeral services will be Sept. 23 at 5 p.m. at Herson Funeral Home, Ithaca. A reception will be held at the Ithaca Country Club on Pleasant Grove Road immediately following the service. Friends and colleagues are welcome. Memorial donations can be made to the Richard E. and Jessie W. Ripple Endowment Fund at Cornell, benefiting the Cornell Residential Living Programs, at Cornell Development Office, 130 E. Seneca St., Ithaca, NY 14850.