On March 20, 2019, Joe “Mickey” Ripley, passed away at the age of 71 surrounded by his family. Mickey was born on February 2, 1948 in Pawnee, Oklahoma to Joe and Betty (Cockrum) Ripley. He received a degree in Education from the University of Oklahoma in 1971 and served in the Oklahoma Army National Guard. Mickey was a high school football, golf, wrestling, and baseball coach as well as a teacher and administrator in Oklahoma and Texas for 35 years. On January 14, 1970, Mickey married Gail Lynn Appleby. They had one son, Trent, and two daughters, Shannon and Jessica.
Mickey was a talented athlete and accomplished coach. As a Perry Maroon, he earned 13 letters in 4 sports and was All-State in football and baseball, state champion wrestler, and played in the state golf tournament all in the same year. Mickey was recruited to play quarterback for the OU Sooners in 1966 where he became an Academic All American athlete and played in the 1968 Orange Bowl and Bluebonnet Bowl. After graduation, Mickey began his coaching career, first at Muskogee, twice at his Perry alma mater, and ending in Amarillo, Texas. He spent most of his career as the longest running head football coach in Bartlesville, and also coached golf. Mickey’s accomplishments included: state championships in golf and wrestling; head coach for Oklahoma in the Oil Bowl; Oklahoma Coach of the Year numerous times for football, golf, and baseball; serving as President of the Oklahoma Coaches Association; and being inducted to the Oklahoma Coaches Hall of Fame.
Mickey was preceded in death by his father, Joe, and his mother, Betty of Perry, Oklahoma. He is survived by his wife, Gail; his son and daughter-in-law, Trent and Shelby Ripley of Richardson, Texas; daughter and son-in-law, Shannon and Mike Bailey of Bartlesville, Oklahoma; daughter and son-in-law, Jessica and Aaron Hawkins of Edmond, Oklahoma; grandchildren Olivia, Connor, Aidan, Audrey, Ember, Rhett, and Hazel; and his brother and sister-in-law, Ron and Terry Ripley of Norman, Oklahoma.
I was a young pup in the Oklahoma coaches association when I met Coàch Ridley, back in 1983, by waybof my first head coach, coy Stewart, from central high, tulsa. Coach ripkey had that same smile, as his photos suggest.he always gave me the impression of being very authoritative, a leader by example, and an honor to meet. It was even more an honor when I started reading his names in the Oklahoma Sooners football annals. At age 62, mybpresent age, it is becoming disheartening to know that we are, at a much to fast pace losing our legends, and sadly, they don’t make them like they use to.. coach ripkey will always be, one of my mentors, and he willbe greatly missed. Sincerely, coach burks 2002, national assistant coach!
Retired football coach LaMAR Burks, OK
Coach Ripley!! Thanks for seeing in me what I didnt see in myself! You are truly missed! May God bless your family.
Jay jonesMcDonough, GA
One of a Kind, RIP Coach Ripley.
Charles William TiessenOkmulgee, OK
Remembering with you one life that touched so many.
Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.
Verna FrankPerry, OK
We lost a very,very good man! R.I.P. Coach. Ripley
Pat JonesTulsa, OK
May God's perfect peace come and rest on the entire extended Ripley Family. May He also bring the comfort that only He can bring during this time. de Ann and I are praying continually for all of you. God bless you, Gail. You are at the top of the prayer list. We love you all very much.
Ken and de Ann Hawkins
Kenneth HawkinsMURRIETA, CA
May the LORD comfort, provide, protect and keep in perfect his family, in Jesus Christ Name.
Young OnuorahEdmond, OK
Gail, so sorry to hear of Mickey's death. Have such fond memories of both of you while in Bartlesville.