James E. Ripple, Jr. Capt. US Navy (Ret)

james ripple, jr. capt. us navy (ret)
Great Falls, VA – Capt. James Ellsworth Ripple Jr., USN retired, passed away in his home on Sunday, February 19, 2023, surrounded by family.

James was born to J. Ellsworth Ripple Sr. and Helen Insley Ripple on August 20, 1934, in Baltimore, MD. After attending Surratsville High School in Clinton, Md, he was a graduate of the University of Maryland. He earned his bachelor's degree in Business and pledged Pi Kappa Alpha, serving as Fraternity President.

After graduation from UMD, James joined the U.S. Navy attending Officer’s Candidate School in Newport, RI. Beginning his beloved Naval career he was commissioned an Ensign, and reported to his first duty station, VA-15, a squadron flying ADs in Jacksonville, FL. James jumped from carriers to shore duty, always saying he had a woman in every port (his wife!) As a Commander, James commanded NIPSTRAFAC in Key West, FL, and as a Captain, JNIDS in Washington, DC. During one tour in Washington, he earned a Master’s Degree in Computer Information Systems at American University. Both personally and professionally, one of the family’s favorite duty stations was in the Philippines at Subic Bay in 1976. The family lived on base and traveled throughout Asia, joining James in several ports in Hong Kong, Taiwan, Japan, Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia, Macau, and South Korea (to name a few.). He retired from the Navy after 32 years of service and enjoyed working within the private sector for many years, while caring for a wide array pets and working on his 1967 Austin-Healy and his 25' sailboat, Serendipity.

James is survived by his wife of 62 years, Martha Jane Crumpler (Jacksonville, FL), daughter, Melissa Anne (Eustis, FL), granddaughter Courtney Anne (Arlington, VA), and grandson-in-love, Jake Cregger. He is predeceased by his son, James Michael, and daughter, Jennifer Jane.

● A celebration of life is planned for March 1, 2023, at Money & King Funeral Home at 171 W. Maple Avenue, Vienna, VA 22180 with a viewing from 2pm to 3pm with the funeral following at 3pm. A private burial will be held in Cape Canaveral National Cemetery in Mims, Florida.

It is James’ wish that instead of flowers you donate to one of the following Veteran’s Charities: K9s for Warriors, Fisher House Foundation, Wounded Warrior Project or Paralyzed Veterans of America. Or if you prefer, a charity of your choice.

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Memories Timeline


  1. Jim and i pretty much followed each other during our Navy service – NAS Jacksonville, Fla. USS Constellation, and Naval Intelligence Command, Washington, DC. – an outstanding officer, devoted, loving husband and father. God Bless Jim. Bob Mecaughey, Capt. USN (Ret)

  2. Uncle Jim was one of the finest Men I have been honored to know. James lead an exemplary life. A life full of the love for his fine Family, and the love of his Country. The World is truly a better place because of Uncle Jim. Our sincerest condolences and heartfelt sympathies are for Aunt Jane, Melissa, Cher and the Ripple family. God-bless your Family during this most difficult time. We will carry Uncle Jim in our hearts forever.
    Mike and Debbie Crumpler

  3. Our sincere condolences on James’ passing. Although we didn’t know James well, we were acquainted with many of his accomplishments. His father, J. Ellsworth Ripple, was our neighbor and he was very proud of James and shared stories of his achievements. One such story had to do with Mr. Ripple being piped aboard the ship that James commanded. He was also pleased that he was able to have an anchor from one ship and proudly affixed it to the side of his home. Our thoughts and prayers will be with you and your family.
    Louise Stellabotta, Nancy Stellabotta Commeree, and Valerie Stellabotta Volpe.

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