Cover photo for Jimmy Rippey's Obituary
Jimmy Rippey Profile Photo
1961 James "Jimmy" 2023

Jimmy Rippey

March 17, 1961 — August 11, 2023


James "Jimmy" Milas Rippey, Jr., a remarkable individual whose zest for life and captivating spirit left an indelible mark on all who had the privilege of knowing him, passed away on August 11, 2023, at the age of 62.

From the moment of his arrival into this world, Jimmy was destined for extraordinary things. From the announcement of his birth, Jimmy's unique journey began in Mt. Pleasant, TN, where he was welcomed by his late parents, James “Cotton” Milas Rippey, Sr., and Rosemary Crane Rippey.

Jimmy's early years were a testament to his exceptional character. Even before taking the wheel of an automobile, he had already taken to the skies, piloting an airplane, and flying to Atlanta and back, with skill that belied his years. His thirst for life's experiences never waned. He spent his formative years in Maury County, attending Columbia Military Academy before setting his sights on academic achievements at Vanderbilt University, where he earned his engineering degree.

After college, Jimmy embarked on a path that took him to the Alaskan wilderness, joining the Corps of Engineers to work on a pipeline project. His journey was punctuated by his unique blend of entrepreneurship and adventure – he embarked on this Alaskan expedition in a Winnebago and filled it with the flavors of his Tennessee roots, Tennessee Country Hams, sharing the taste of home with everyone he encountered, while making a small profit.

Returning to his hometown after a few years in Alaska, Jimmy worked alongside his father at Rippey Auto Parts and Industrial Supplies, Inc. Whether on the clock or off, Jimmy was a beacon of positivity. His smile was a constant presence, capable of lighting up any room and lifting the spirits of those around him.

Jimmy's affinity for life was both inspiring and infectious. He possessed an unwavering love for life's pleasures, from embracing the warmth of the sun to engaging in heartwarming conversations. His generosity extended beyond words – he would fly friends and family to far-flung destinations, sharing his passions with those he cherished.

Adventures were the essence of Jimmy's life, and his spirit of exploration knew no bounds. In a daring display, he flew his plane beneath the Perryville Bridge on the Tennessee river – a secret escapade that left those who knew of it in awe.

Jimmy's enthusiasm for life extended to a vast array of interests. He had an insatiable appetite for knowledge, with a keen mind for mathematics and an affinity for games of chance, particularly craps. His catchphrase, "Hard 8, Shooter," was a testament to his humor and his love for the game.

Amid the array of his interests and pursuits, the heart of Jimmy's happiness resided in his family. With steadfast devotion, he prioritized being present for his children, teaching them many life lessons and always rallying them together for a game of pedro. His affection for his wife, Shannon, knew no bounds, reflecting an unwavering and unconditional love. His fondness for his extended family circle, which encompassed his sister, niece, great nephews, and a multitude of cherished cousins, was evidenced by the time he invested in their company and the genuine delight he found in their presence.

Jimmy’s departure leaves an irreplaceable void in the lives of those he touched. His legacy of living life to the fullest, his infectious smile, his adventurous spirit, and his boundless love for family and friends will forever be cherished.

In celebration of his vibrant life, a memorial service will be held Tuesday, August 15 at 11:00 a.m. at Williams Funeral Home in Columbia, with a reception to follow in Williams Funeral Home Blevins Hall with all guests invited. The family will visit with friends Monday, August 14 from 4:00 p.m. until 7:00 p.m. in the chapel of Williams Funeral Home.

Jimmy is survived by the love of his life Shannon Bond Rippey; children: Jessica May (Sharlie) Rippey, Katherine Rippey (Matt) Hinson, and James Austin Rippey; sister: Sheila Rippey (Billy) Fleming; niece: Jennifer Fleming (Michael) Franks and Kaylee Grace Bond; brother-in-law: William Kenneth Bond; and great-nephews: William Elijah Fleming, Michael “Trey” Alan Franks, III, William Christopher Franks, Timothy Miller Kilpatrick. Jimmy is preceded in death by his parents James “Cotton” Milas Rippey, Sr., and Rosemary Crane Rippey and nephew William “Bill” Stuart Fleming, VI.

Honorary Pallbearers: Fred Baker, John Merritt, Mark Byram, Butch West, Bill White, Kim Johnston Hoffman, Mary Davis, Mike Baltzer, Bill Toller, Billy McCoy, C.F. Alexander, Alan Blevins, Tina Boane, Alfred Edwards, Nicky Rochelle, and Jackie Tune.

We honor Jimmy's memory, bringing together the many lives he enriched. While he may no longer be with us in person, his spirit will live on through the stories, laughter, and enduring memories he leaves behind. Jimmy brought an unparalleled enthusiasm for living to every corner of his world.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to the James K. Polk Home.

Williams Funeral Home has been entrusted with the care of Jimmy. Condolences can be given to the family online at

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Jimmy Rippey, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services


Monday, August 14, 2023

4:00 - 7:00 pm (Central time)

Williams Funeral Home & Crematory - Columbia

2517 Trotwood Ave, Columbia, TN 38401

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Celebration of Life

Tuesday, August 15, 2023

11:00am - 12:00 pm (Central time)

Williams Funeral Home & Crematory - Columbia

2517 Trotwood Ave, Columbia, TN 38401

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.


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