Robert Louis Riepel, 80, died Friday, Sept. 28, 2012, at his home in Ignacio.
Mr. Riepel was born Dec. 6, 1931, in Syracuse, N.Y., the son of Herman and Florence Hartung Riepel. He grew up on his family’s farm enjoying farm life, the orchards, animals and driving machinery. He spent his summers at the family cottage at Oneida Lake, N.Y.
Mr. Riepel graduated from East Syracuse High School in 1950 and started school at the University of Buffalo, studying pharmacy. After a year at the university, he was drafted into the Army to fight in the Korean War. Four years later, he received an honorable discharge and went back to the University of Buffalo to become a pharmacist. During this time, he met and married Dawn Schlect.
The Riepels remained in the area until moving to Chandler, Ariz., in the late 1950s. They later moved to Snowflake, Ariz., and established a drugstore called Snowflake Drug. Mr. Riepel enjoyed helping people and often was called “Dr. Bob,” his family said.
In 1985, Mr. Riepel retired from pharmacy, sold his store and was divorced. He later moved to Arboles, where he started a small sawmill called Pride Lumber. He enjoyed working with wood, being in the woods and having the freedom to do whatever he wanted, his family said.
In 1993, Mr. Riepel married Brenda Smithson.
Mr. Riepel is survived by his wife, Brenda Riepel of Ignacio; children Ann Riepel of Durango, Tyler Riepel, John Riepel and Jaylene Riepel of Ignacio, Rob Riepel of Sunnyvale, Calif., and Brent Riepel of Snowflake; three grandchildren; and numerous nieces, nephews and cousins.
Visitation will be from 6 to 8 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 2, 2012, at Hood Mortuary Chapel. A graveside service will be at noon Saturday, Oct. 6, 2012, at Mike Ramsay Memorial Cemetery in Snowflake.