Christian “Chris” Ruppel, 97, passed away September 5, 2019

Christian “Chris” Ruppel, 97, of St. Joseph, was called home to be with his Lord on Thursday, September 5, 2019, at Hanson Hospice Center – Stevensville.

A Celebration of Life Service will take place on Saturday, September 21, 2019 at 11 AM at Starks & Menchinger Chapel, 2650 Niles Rd., St. Joseph, with Pastor David Hills officiating. Burial will follow the service at Riverview Cemetery. Friends may visit with the family an hour prior to the service. Memorial contributions may be made to Caring Circle Hospice. Those wishing to leave an online condolence may do so at

Chris was born on November 4, 1921, in Sheboygan, WI, to Christian, Sr., & Marie (Yurk). He attended Arden School, a two room school house, through eighth grade, Berrien Springs High School for ninth grade and St. Joseph High School for tenth grade through graduation in 1939. While attending high school, Chris was a member of the band where he played the clarinet. In 1942, Chris earned his degree in Applied Electrical Engineering from National School in Los Angeles, CA. During this year he also married Esther Kowerduck at Trinity Lutheran Church. They were happily married for nearly 60 years until her passing in 2001. One of their favorite activities was attending all of their children’s and grandchildren’s athletic and school events. For 42 years, Chris worked at Auto Specialties holding various positions. At 87 years old, Chris married Cleo Hansen on June 6, 2009. Chris was a member at Stevensville United Methodist Church, Twin Cities Camera Club and Amateur Radio Club. He was also a former member of Trinity Lutheran Church, where he ushered, counted money and assisted with taking photographs for the church directory. Chris was a proud leader for the Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts, earning his spot in the Order of The Arrow, the highest rank a scout can earn. Chris was a kind and quiet man who was loved by everyone he met; his humor and wit will be greatly missed.

Chris is survived by his wife, Cleo; children, Christian (Patty) of Kalamazoo, Richard (Jean) of South Haven, Kenneth (Irene) of Hartford, Janice ( Jim Allen) Catania of Bridgman, and Timothy (Terese) of Sugar Grove, IL; 13 grandchildren, Jamey Ruppel, Kenny Ruppel, Scott Ruppel, Steven Ruppel, Jeremy Ruppel, Katie Ruppel, Joe Ruppel, Maggie Ruppel, Jason Catania, Gina Catania, Lynda Gilsdorf, Eileen Doan and Heather Tibbs; 14 great-grandchildren; special niece and God daughter, Kathy “Cookie” Kushman of Columbus, IN; sister, Lydia Ruhno; four step children, Sue (Dan) Reschke of St. Joseph, Kay (Richard) Greene of Indianapolis, Brian (Veronica) Hansen of Bangor and Diane Henry of Albuquerque; five step grandchildren; and four step great-grandchildren.

Chris was preceded in death by his parents; first wife, Esther; and siblings, Otto, Marie, Emma, Gustav, Friederich, and David. 

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