Hugh John Phillips Ripper, 95, died Jan. 7, 2012 with family by his side. He was the widower of Margaret Mary O'Brien, to whom he was married for 27 years.

Mr. Ripper was born Nov. 21, 1916, to Stanley C. Ripper and Ella Joan Woods Ripper in Dorking, Surrey, England. His family immigrated to Canada in 1919 and shortly thereafter to the United States, where he became a citizen.

Mr. Ripper married Margaret Mary O'Brien in Burlington, Vt., in 1940 and raised four children in Roxbury.

In 1989, he moved to North Bridgton, Maine, where he spent most of his retirement years.

A beloved father and grandfather, Mr. Ripper was intimately involved in raising his children and was always available to help and counsel child and grandchild alike.

He was a strong proponent of higher education and was instrumental in having his children graduate from college.

In 1936, Mr. Ripper bought a Grand Bank Dory and clammed the low tides and crabbed the high tides on the Massachusetts coast to raise money to pay for his university education, instilling the value of hard work in his children.

Mr. Ripper earned an undergraduate degree from the University of Vermont and a master's degree from the University of Connecticut.

He became an expert and teacher of agricultural education and management at Woodbury and Trumbull High schools in Connecticut, and served as the director of the Ellis Clark Regional Vocational Agriculture School in Woodbury for several years.

Upon his retirement in 1981, Mr. Ripper had devoted 30 years to teaching and supporting VoAg in the state and represented VoAg on the national level.

As a young man, Mr. Ripper loved flying small aircraft and taught navigation to military pilots during World War II before joining the engineering department of Bell Aircraft where he joked he flew a BST--big steel desk.

A Roxbury resident as of 1949, Mr. Ripper served his community as a member of the Roxbury Volunteer Fire Department, the zoning board and the wetlands board, among others, and was a justice of the peace.

Mr. Ripper is survived by his children and their spouses, Catherine and Robert Brooks, H. John Jr. and Lynne Ripper, Connie Ripper, and Deborah and Peter Brokofsky; eight grandchildren; and five great-grandchildren. Also close to his heart, are Margaret, John, Jeff and Julia Dashuta, Kathy Reardon, Sarah, Sue and Scott Duncan, and the Premo family. In addition to his wife, he was predeceased by sons James and Michael; three brothers; and two sisters.

A memorial service will be held tomorrow (Saturday) at 9 a.m. at St. Patrick's Church in Roxbury.

A private burial will be at St. Patrick's Cemetery in Roxbury, where he will be laid to rest beside his wife.

Memorial donations may be made to the Roxbury Volunteer Fire Department or the Roxbury Land Trust.