Date of Death:  November 28, 2022

Service Details

A Rosary will be recited Saturday, December 10, 2022 at 10:30 a.m. at Immaculate Conception Catholic Church, 645 S. Douglas Ave., Three Rivers, followed by a funeral mass at 11:00 a.m. with Fr. R. Mathias as celebrant and Father William J Jacobs as concelebrant. A celebration of Ron’s life will follow the mass with an immediate luncheon in the church basement. Those wishing to attend interment at Riverside Cemetery following the luncheon are welcome.

Obituary Notice

Ronald John Riopel, 89, of Three Rivers, passed away Monday, November 28, 2022 at home, surrounded by his loving family.

He was born July 14, 1933 in Chicago, Ill., the son of John August and Anna Louise (Ebert) Riopel.

Ron earned his bachelor of science at Western Michigan University: a triple major in physics, chemistry and mathematics, and a minor in history. He followed that with a master’s degree in electrical engineering at Notre Dame.

He went on to train generations of students as a teacher for 26 years at Three Rivers High School, and for 23 years at Kalamazoo Valley Community College. In Three Rivers, he was chair of the math and science departments and developed the honors math program and the original advanced placement program for calculus and chemistry. He was very involved in National Honor Society and various other activities.

Ron was also very active in Three Rivers Little League for 20 years and attended Immaculate Conception Catholic Church.

He obtained the rank of 1st class petty officer in the United States Navy. He served in the Korean War primarily on the DMS Ellyson as a boiler-tender, Sharpshooter and 40mm gunner.

Ron married Anne Brady on August 7, 1976 at Immaculate Conception Catholic Church.  They enjoyed traveling as a family with son John and in later years especially enjoyed visiting World War II and other military memorials. Ron enjoyed creating displays that honored American military heroes.

He had special pleasure in sharing his knowledge and stories with everyone, and particularly with his two grandchildren. He shared with them his love of math and science and how to make aunt Sophie’s cookies.

Remaining to cherish Ron’s memory are his wife, Anne Riopel; son, John (Jen) Riopel; grandchildren, Riley and Jaxon; many beloved brothers and sisters-in-law, nieces and nephews, great-nieces and -nephews, and many close friends.

He was preceded in death by sister Dolores (and Roman) Skinner along with his parents.

Additional Information

Donations in Ron’s memory may be directed to Three Rivers Little League (for a scholarship to assist young people who might otherwise be unable to participate), V.F.W. Post #3019, or American Legion Post #170. Envelopes are available at and may be sent to Hohner Funeral Home, 1004 Arnold St., Three Rivers.

Please Leave Your Condolences

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  1. Dear Anne, John and family,
    We are so sorry for the loss of your beloved Ron. He was such a nice person and will be greatly missed. You are in our thoughts and prayers. May you find peace in the beautiful memories you share of him.
    George and Sherry

  2. My condolences to Anne and family. I had Mr. Riopel in nearly all of my honors math classes (besides Mr. Garman) and physics. Of all my high school teachers, I respected him the most. I did know him personally but I am impressed by his life story. He will be missed.

  3. To Ann , John and their family . My deepest sympathies go out to you in this sad time . I remember Ron fondly while I was a student at TRHS . I was fortunate to know you too Ann at school and our kids went to school together as well . We would in the course of their activities run into eachother and catch up a bit on old times . I’ll certainly remember all of you in my prayers at such a difficult time and in the days ahead .🌹

  4. Sending sincere condolences to the family as you grieve the loss of Mr. Riopel. Though I had only brief opportunity to interact with him, my active involvement with the local chemical society frequently brings me in touch with a varied group of individuals who have “had to take chemistry as a Gen Ed requirement” in college – Mr. Riopel’s name is often mentioned as a faculty member who inspired his students to appreciate the subject and work at learning it.

  5. I was saddened to hear of the passing of Mr. Riopel. My condolences to Anne, John and the rest of the family. May you find peace in the many memories you share.

    I spent many hours in Mr. Riopel’s classroom for honors math and physics. He was a very special teacher who impacted the lives of many students. He will be missed by all who knew him.

  6. Ron was my high school chemistry teacher, my colleague at Three Rivers High School, and a good friend. We had a lot of good times together from vacations and golf in Montego Bay to Mathematics Department meetings in the Fisher Lake Inn. When I was at Cornell Ron wrote about his new position in the math department at TRHS. We would discuss many things but our letters often involved some mathematics that we found interesting. Ron visited me in Florida many times. I remember he did the scheduling for all the classes at Three Rivers Hight school on a 9″ Macintosh one year. Even on vacation, Ron was so dedicated to THRS. I learned many things about teaching and life from Ron. I’ve known Ron for 60 years and I dearly miss him.

  7. I have no words! Ron was always there for me, he was a dear dear friend. Ron was filled with love of God, country, and family. He never met a stranger, he loved to tell me about his family. He was made from tougher stuff then most, we could talk for hours. I will miss him! I hope heaven has coffee, and someone that he can talk too, I’m sure he will want to brag about his grandchildren! He was proud of them, and loved them so very much! Rest my dear friend your journey on earth is done!

  8. I can’t tell the story of how I fell in love with my husband without mentioning Mr. Riopel. My husband, of 32 years, was my high school sweetheart and Mr. Riopel was our Chemistry teacher. I remember all the times he would laugh with us in class. He was one of my favorite teachers and had that special gift of making each lesson interesting and fun. I think many of his former students will keep his memory alive with their stories.
    All my prayers to his family during this time.

  9. Sending my love and prayers to his family in their loss of Mr. Riopel. He was a wonderful teacher and am privileged to have been one of his students. He touched many lives and hopefully that brings some solace to his family as they heal.

  10. Very sorry to hear of Ron Riopel’s passing. Mr. Riopel was my teacher in multiple subjects over two years of high school. He was a consummate teacher and a wonderful person. The obituary describes a long, rich, well-lived life. I echo the comments above that those who love and cherish him find peace and joy in the memories of his place in your hearts.

    • So sad to hear of Mr. Riopel’s passing. Charles eloquently stated my shared feelings and experience. The class of 1985 spent many a day in his classroom working hard, learning much and building friendships that have carried through today. My deepest condolences to all of Mr. Riopel’s family.

      • Dear Anne and family,
        I was sad to hear of this great man passing on. The world is a diminished place now.
        I had the honor of being in Mr. Riopel’s 1982 TR High School math and chemistry classes and 1983 calculus and physics classes. He was an extremely intelligent and charming man and I appreciate all he did for me, my classmates, and others throughout his life.
        I never knew about his military service. That makes me even more fond of him and his memory.

  11. I am sad to hear of Anne’s and John’s loss–Ron was a patient teacher and a great colleague whom I had the honor of teaching across the hall from for many years. He was a faithful friend and found true happiness with Anne.

  12. Mr. Riopel taught me chemistry and physics at TRHS in 1982-1983. He was a great teacher who I especially appreciated in my chemistry lab! He was patient and so intelligent! Wishing his family peace as they navigate the sad days, weeks and months ahead.

  13. It’s very tragic. We all loved him, very nice and always caring. One of the smartest individuals I have ever had the pleasure of knowing. Rest in peace uncle Ron. We love you. And to my godmother, we are here for you and will keep you on our prayers. ❤️ ☘️

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