Pause Hold My Hand by Bruce H. Zimmerman (ASCAP)
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Thank you for your support during this difficult time. Please enhance this tribute to George by adding your memories and photos.

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Memories & Candles

“I met Rion in Japan and then again in California when he lived on Oak Street.It was at his house at a party that I met my future husband Chris Dunn....Read More »
1 of 31 | Posted by: Sharon (Waegner) Dunn

“I met Rion in Japan and then again in California when he lived on Oak Street.It was at his house at a party that I met my future husband Chris Dunn....Read More »
2 of 31 | Posted by: Sharon (Waegner) Dunn

Wayne & George, 1966. “I spent a lot of hours with Mr Rippolone 'back in the day.' I spent an occasional night at his home in Yokohama, and I was friends with his sister...Read More »
3 of 31 | Posted by: Wayne LoPrete - Peekskill, NY

“Mike, Arcalli & Ashley as well as Mrs.Rippolone & Amy: We were shocked to see Arcalli's message yesterday! We've known Mike & Arcalli for a long...Read More »
4 of 31 | Posted by: Debbie & Bill - Prescott , AZ

“Your light shines on. ”
5 of 31 | Posted by: Judalon - Los Angeles , CA

“Carol, I'm deeply sadden for the loss of your life parter George. One remembrance of my friend was that he was the most nonjudgmental person I have...Read More »
6 of 31 | Posted by: Dennis Ring - San Francisco, CA

“George:It's a beautiful day here in Hawaii. Late 60's to early 70's. In Japan and Berkley,CA we had such a magical time together. George you showed...Read More »
7 of 31 | Posted by: Ritsuko Tokura-Ellsworth - Pahoa, HI

“George was one of the kindest souls...a pure sweetheart. May the road rise to meet you.May the wind be always at your back.May the sun shine warm...Read More »
8 of 31 | Posted by: Chris & Joanne Wirth - Cloverdale, CA

“I have been friends with Arcalli and Mike for many years but have never had the priviledge of meeting Georgie. After reading the memoriams from...Read More »
9 of 31 | Posted by: ellie walsh - East Longmeadow, MA

“I met George only once, during a time of transition for me. He had to convey some unsettling news to me, but he did it in the kindest way possible. I...Read More »
10 of 31 | Posted by: Leah Kennorthy - San Francisco, CA

“Such fond memories of Georgie....running around like mad people at the AAU open houses, he'd be taking care of 12 students at once...and he always...Read More »
11 of 31 | Posted by: Carol Chambers - San Francisco, CA

“May you rest in peace, George. ”
12 of 31 | Posted by: Ted Roper - Torrance, CA

“I remember you in our school days as an active student. ”
13 of 31 | Posted by: George Okuhara-Caswell (Ishikawa) - AZ

“George, even though your physical being is no longer here on earth, you can rest in peace knowing that your kind soul, spirit of humanity, and...Read More »
14 of 31 | Posted by: Kimiko Rippolone - San Rafael, CA

“Our mother Kimiko often told my sister Amy Christina and me this story. When George was 5, as he walked to Kindergarten with our mother along the...Read More »
15 of 31 | Posted by: Kimiko Rippolone - San Rafael, CA

“George you were a GOOD man. My prayers are with my cousins Carol and Damon at this difficult time. You were blessed to have him in your lives. ”
16 of 31 | Posted by: Kathy Oberman

“George was one of the warmest, kindest, most sincerely good people I have ever had the pleasure of knowing and working with. The world is a little...Read More »
17 of 31 | Posted by: Eve Barringer

“George, I couldn’t have asked for a better brother and role-model to emulate. As an integral person in the formative years of my life and later, in...Read More »
18 of 31 | Posted by: Michael Rippolone - San Rafael, CA

“George was my brother through marriage, but he was like my own flesh and blood. I met him 30 years ago when I first dated Mike, his younger brother....Read More »
19 of 31 | Posted by: Arcalli (Kelly) Rippolone - CA

“George was my friend and I'm hurting: but I know that those close to him and those who had the privilege of seeing him on a regular basis are missing...Read More »
20 of 31 | Posted by: Brendan McAukey - Scarsdale , NY

“I had the great pleasure to work with George at AAU. He was so genuinely concerned about everyone around him. He really cared about the well being of...Read More »
21 of 31 | Posted by: Emily Hughes Doyle - CA

“George, you will surely be missed in this world!! You were a good man and I was glad to have known you. ”
22 of 31 | Posted by: Jason

“I have many fond memories of George and my times spent with him, Damon and Carol from my college years. Damon and a big group of friends would hang...Read More »
23 of 31 | Posted by: Bill Winger - Friend

“My heart is with all of you during this time of sorrow. May the peace that comes from the memories comfort you all. ”
24 of 31 | Posted by: Nicole Sherman - Boston, MA

“Someone like Georgie who meant so much to all of us and touched our hearts and souls will live on in so many loving memories. We miss you Georgie. ...Read More »
25 of 31 | Posted by: Amy C Rippolone-Costelli - CA

“George (brother-and-son-in-LOVE) May you find eternal rest. You were the salt of the earth and gave yourself unselfishly to others. This...Read More »
26 of 31 | Posted by: Shirley & Steve Willich; Josephine Godocsik - OH

“To Carol & Damon: Your loss is great. We are saddened at George's passing. He was a rock in your lives. Our love and hugs. J&D ”
27 of 31 | Posted by: Joel & Diane Sperber - Brooklyn, NY

“Death leaves a heartache no one can heal; but, love leaves a memory no one can steal. ”
28 of 31 | Posted by: Debbie Carriger - Alpharetta, GA

“i MET MY COUSIN GEORGIE RIP IN 1969-WE WERE BOTH 19 YEARS OLD-HE CAME TO MY COLLEGE TO SPEND SOME TIME WITH ME----WE BOTH LOVED SPORTS AND PLAYED...Read More »
29 of 31 | Posted by: TONY RIPPOLONE - NYC, NY

“Georgiesan, you were my love and my life. I was so lucky to have you to hold me in your arms and always be there for me. You touched so many people...Read More »
30 of 31 | Posted by: Carol Sperber - San Francisco, CA

“Uncle George was not only a family member, but also a dear friend. No words can truly describe how considerate, selfless, and loving he was. His mere...Read More »
31 of 31 | Posted by: Ashley Rippolone - San Rafael, CA


George passed away peacefully on November 14th, 2012 with his partner and best friend for the past 25 years, Carol Sperber, and his family by his side. George leaves behind his mother, Kimiko; his sister, Amy Christina (Al, spouse); his brother, Michael (Arcalli, spouse); and his niece, Ashley (who he referred to as his "chibisuke" [little one in Japanese]). He also leaves behind his stepson, Damon Sperber (Kristen, fiancé).

George was born the middle child and raised in Kamakura, Japan. Kamakura was a small, relaxed, bohemian seaside town surrounded by wooded hills, an hour's train ride south of Tokyo. This would later lead to his love of the beach and of the Hawaiian Islands. His father, Victor, was a civilian doctor and hospital administrator for the US Army at Camp Zama Hospital. His mother, Kimiko, was a stay-at-home mom. George attended St. Joseph International School in Yokohama, Japan, a private Jesuit all boys school where he was an altar boy for Sunday masses. During his time at the school, he was an avid athlete excelling in baseball and basketball earning letters in both sports and making the All Star teams. He also earned the highest rank of Eagle Scout in the Boy Scouts of America. His love for music led him to form a rock band where he played the drums and often performed at the teen club at the military base. In 1968, George joined the Merchant Marines to serve his country and spent a year on a ship which circum-navigated the globe. After graduating from Sophia University, a private university in Tokyo, he moved to the U.S. and lived in the Berkeley Hills, later settling in San Francisco. After the sudden passing of their father in 1973, George, at 24, assumed the burden of responsibility for the family. George was that type of a man, taking his responsibilities seriously and always caring for others. His selflessness, compassion, and sense of morality will be missed by many.

A celebration of his life will take place on Saturday, November 24th, 2012, from 2:00 to 5:00 pm at the Palace Hotel in San Francisco. Please bring pictures and stories to share with others.