In mid-January, the Naval Institute lost one of its most dedicated friends, Captain Earl Rippee of Newport Beach, California. For half of his 85 years, Earl was a Life Member, a frequent participant in Institute events, and a generous supporter. His warm, self-deprecating humor endeared him to all.
Earl Rippee was an avid runner for nearly 40 years, averaging 50 miles per week. He competed in more than a thousand 5K and 10K races and numerous marathons before health issues sidelined him in the early 2000s. By his calculations, he had run the equivalent of 3-plus times around the globe. He admitted to mostly walking in his fourth lap.
In his last few years, Earl endured a painful series of surgeries and medical procedures in hopes of relieving back pain brought on by years of running. After doctors installed titanium supports along his spine in 2002, he thought the x-ray resembled an AK-47 automatic weapon. He was told the metal braces could set off checkpoint sensors at airports. That didn't stop Earl from flying across the country to attend Institute events. As he wrote to the Foundation staff, "If a security guard gets the idea I have a weapon embedded in my back, I can point out that a closer inspection will reveal it is unloaded."
Earl Rippee was one of a kind. Our thoughts are with Barbara, his bride of 55 years, with sons Greg and Jeff, and daughter Gigi.
Oral Histories Happen With Your Support
There is no magic: For the nonprofit Naval Institute to produce oral histories, it must secure outside funding.
The interviews for each history-sometimes requiring as many as 20 sessions-are recorded as soon as possible. Then, as contributions allow, the labor-intensive tasks of processing the tape recordings begin. Dozens of projects are in the pipeline at varying stages of completion. Histories of and by the following notable individuals are within striking distance of being finished, awaiting funds to proceed:
Vice Admiral Robert F. Dunn, USN (Ret.)
Admiral Thomas B. Hayward, USN (Ret.)
Admiral Frank Kelso, USN (Ret.)
Admiral Robert Kramek, USCG (Ret.)
Vice Admiral William P. Lawrence, USN (Ret.)
Admiral James Loy, USCG (Ret.)
Vice Admiral Edward H. Martin, USN (Ret.)
Admiral Paul David Miller, USN (Ret.)
Admiral J. Paul Reason, USN (Ret.)
Admiral Leighton W. Smith, USN (Ret.)
Admiral Stansfield Turner, USN (Ret.)
Vice Admiral Eugene P. Wilkinson, USN (Ret.)
You can help by making a tax-deductible gift  , to either underwrite a specific project or for general oral history support to be applied to a project in need of funding. Your suggestions of other possible avenues of support-from individuals, foundations, or corporations-will also be greatly appreciated. For more information, please contact Sue Sweeney at (410) 295-1054 or at [email protected]  . Gifts by check or credit card can be sent to the Naval Institute Foundation at 291 Wood Road, Annapolis, MD 21402.
Class of '45 Enriches Capstone Prizes
Six years after the Naval Academy Class of 1945 Foundation established an endowment with the Naval Institute to fund the William Earl Fannin, Class of 1945, Capstone Essay Contest, the class has made an additional contribution-nearly doubling the size of its endowment-to enhance the prizes. This contest recognizes excellence in professional writing among graduating Naval Academy midshipmen.
Articles on technology and innovation are made possible in part by a grant from Battelle Memorial Institute.
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