Father Riplog — veteran, husband, father, priest — dies at 85

Father Duane Riplog, veteran, U.S. Navy, World War II, priest, obituary

Father Duane Riplog, veteran, U.S. Navy, World War II, priest, obituarySUMMERVILLE—Father Duane T. Riplog, former parochial vicar of St. John the Beloved Church and a U.S. Navy veteran, died of lung cancer on Jan. 8 in his home. He was 85.

The funeral Mass was held Jan. 12 at St. John the Beloved. Burial was at Summerville Cemetery.

He was born Duane Thomas Riplog on March 26, 1924, in Omaha, Neb., a son of John and Mildred Carruthers Riplog. He was a graduate of Technical High School in Omaha, Neb. He joined the U.S. Navy in 1942 and served in World War II and the Korean Conflict. He retired in 1972. He married Ethel Self in 1946 and they had four daughters. Mrs. Riplog died in 1979.

Father Riplog was a graduate of Pope John XXIII National Seminary in Weston, Mass. He was ordained into the priesthood at age 60 on Aug. 15, 1984, by Bishop Ernest L. Unterkoefler in the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist in Charleston. He served as parochial vicar at the Cathedral until 1987 and then St. Elizabeth Ann Seton in Mauldin. In 1988 he became pastor of Holy Spirit Church on Johns Island. He then became parochial vicar at Our Lady of the Hills in Columbia in 1990 before being assigned to St. John the Beloved that same year. He retired from ministry in 1999.

Father Riplog also served on the Diocesan Liturgical Commission and was in the fourth degree of the Knights of Columbus.

In a September 2009 interview with The Miscellany, Father Riplog said it was a joy to be a priest.

“It’s one of the great things in life where I felt I was of use,” Father Riplog said. “Jesus came here to serve, not to be served. It was such an honor to help people.”

“It’s hard to describe the joy of being a priest, knowing that you’re doing, or trying to do, the work of God,” he said.

He is survived by his daughters Cecilia Thrower, Sarah Yonash and Mary Riplog. He was preceded in death by two infant sons, and his daughter, Nancy Magee.