Mr. James Shripka, age 82, of Rockford passed away on Sunday, September 12, 2010. He was born in Zilwaukee, Mich., and served his country in the U.S. Navy aboard the Destroyer USS Cone.
Jim spent most of his working years in the bus business and was known throughout the country for his knowledge of bus garage maintenance and management. After many years on the east side of the state, he joined GRATA (RAPID) as assistant general manager. He left GRATA to form his own company, Midwest Bus Rebuilders in Owosso, Mich. with his partner, Dan Morrell.
After Jim retired, he became involved in many volunteer activities such as North Kent Service Center (NKSC) where he along with Bishop Jos. McKinney started the People Helping People golf benefit for NKSC, established Rockford Area Transit System, was a volunteer for the G.R. Police Senior Volunteer Program, served on the United Way Board, and many other activities. Jim served his beloved Our Lady of Consolation Parish in several capacities, one being president of the Pastoral Council. He loved people, was a great joke teller, and loved to hear others laugh. After mass, Jim was known for his “Yea God!” The words he would most like all of us to remember is that love is everything, and what a wonderful world this would be if everyone would just love. Jim was a devoted Cursillista and a member of the Bishop Richter Council #7761 Knights of Columbus.
He was preceded in death by his wife, Gay Shripka; parents, Hugo and Mathilda Shripka; brothers and sisters, Commander Harold Shripka, USN, Bernard Shripka, Norris Shripka, Truvie Leonard, and Leona Shripka. Jim leaves his loving wife of over 27 years, Roberta (Smith Tiffany) Shripka; daughter, Carolyn (Mark) Reinhart of Tucson, Ariz.; grandchildren, Jennifer Carner of Gilbert, Ariz., Scott Carner of Tucson, Ariz., Lauren (Chad) Nowell and HM3 (FMF) Corpsman USN Gregory Reinhart of Okinawa, Japan; adopted son, Charlie (Lynne) Creech of Ft. Collins, Colo.; many nieces and nephews, and innumerable friends.
The mass of Christian burial for Mr. Shripka will be offered on Friday at 11:00 a.m. at Our Lady of Consolation Catholic Church with the Rev. Tony Russo and the Rev. Paul Milanowski presiding. Interment will be in Rockford Cemetery. The Rosary will be prayed on Thursday evening at the funeral home at 8:30 p.m. Those planning an expression of sympathy are asked to consider the Shripka Memorial Fund (established over 30 years ago to assist those in need in the northern Kent County area), Our Lady of Consolation Catholic Church, 4865 Eleven Mile Road, Rockford, or St. Judes Children’s Hospital. Relatives and friends may meet with the family at Pederson Funeral Home on Thursday from 2 to 4 and 7 to 9 p.m. and prior to the mass at the church on Friday. “In remembrance of Jim, tell someone or show someone you love them.”
Arrangements were made by Pederson Funeral Home, Rockford.