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William Junior Ripper

William Junior Ripper, 93, passed away on Thursday, November 21, 2019 at the Lutheran Hillside Village in Peoria. He was born on March 8, 1926 to Phillip and Lillian (Weyrich) Ripper of Canton, who predeceased him. He married Melba Colleen Brush (deceased) in 1957 and they enjoyed many years running the family farm outside of Canton. Stewardship to the land was of utmost importance to him, and he fought to keep his land in production when others sold to strip mines. Later, Bill, his wife and other concerned Fulton County citizens formed Fulton County Citizens for Better Health and Environment in 1973. The non-profit organization was formed to provide a voice for the citizens of the county when the MSD of Greater Chicago waste project entered Fulton County. He continued his pursuit of health and environmental issues throughout his life. He served honorably in the US Army as a PFC during WWII. His sister, Ruby Umbarger, preceded him in death. He is survived by one daughter, Joanne Ripper, Springfield and two sons, Jim (Jackie) Ripper of Edelstein and Joel (Darinda) Ripper of White Heath. He is also survived by his cherished grandchildren, Haley Aubrey, Jonathan Ripper, Jason Ripper, and Adam Ripper, as well as nephews, nieces and grand-nephews and grand-nieces. He had a tender heart, and loved animals. His pets were especially dear to him. As a life-long member of Trinity Lutheran Church, he volunteered his time and skills. He could fix (almost) anything. Melba and he wanted to make a difference; a humble man, he will never know how many lives he touched and improved during his long life by his service to his neighbors and his community. A visitation will be held on Monday, November 25 from 5 to 7 p.m. at Oaks-Hines Funeral Home in Canton with a funeral to follow on Tuesday, November 26 at 11 a.m. at the funeral home. Burial will follow at the Greenwood Cemetery in Canton. Memorials may be made to Fulton County Humane Society or to The Art Without Boundaries Association. To view William’s video tribute or to leave online condolences please visit

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