John Arthur Brown Van Riper passed away on Tuesday, Aug. 6, 2019, at his home in Palm Harbor, Fla.
John Arthur Brown Van Riper, a Freemason, was born on July 9, 1954 in Washington, D.C., to Dorothy and George Van Riper. He grew up in Arlington, Va., where he attended Emerson Preparatory School and as a young boy played ball boy for the Pittsburgh Pirates baseball team. John also loved playing the guitar and was a member of quite a few bands. He was a graduate of Wakefield High School and at 16 years old took off for Europe. He settled in Germany where he made many friends and was married to his first wife, Putty. John would often tell stories of finding God and the church bells one morning in Germany, which woke up a new purpose in him. He always wanted to make his parents proud. He returned to the U.S. where he went on to graduate from the University of Maryland. John worked hard and struggled through that time he called “personal growth”. After graduating he worked at National Health Laboratories. Shortly after that, he met the mother of his four children, Rosemarie, who he married in 1983. They were married for 20 years.
Eventually he opened Laboratory Development Incorporated and in 1996 moved his family to Palm Harbor, Fla. Over the next several years John faced several challenges, including his health. He was incredibly resilient and made sure his children stayed on the right path despite all else. He was a coach and friend to his children and so many others. He was also an amazing baseball player and played what his children referred to as “old man baseball” right up until the end of his life.
In 2011 he opened Van Riper Consulting for which he was most proud of as it enabled him to continue to hold onto the family home, to help all of his children and to prosper. Through all of the things mentioned he silently battled liver disease. He fought hard for his life since being diagnosed with hepatitis C at the age of 29. He went through many debilitating treatments and was finally cured in 2014. He was a fighter. He never gave up on himself, any of his children or any friend in need.
In 2018 he married who he lovingly referred to as Miss now Mrs. Patti. It was also in 2018 that he was diagnosed with stage 4 metastatic bile duct cancer. With the support of his family he went through many different forms of treatment. There was nothing he wasn’t willing to do to stay alive and more importantly walk his daughter, Rebecca, down the aisle and be there for his daughter, Stefanie’s, birth of his first grandchild, River John. He was able to do both of those things. There was never a person he didn’t believe in. He loved the underdog and to help and encourage those who felt hopeless. He touched the lives of so many. His biggest accomplishment was his children who were his entire world. He will he remembered by us all as the most loving, giving, strong, wise, caring man who persevered throughout his life.
John was preceded in death by his beloved sister, Micki Harden. He will he missed by his loving children, Stefanie, Rebecca, Amanda and George; his nephew, John Eric; grandson, River John; his wife Patricia; brother-in-law, Ron Harden; son-in-law, Matthew Schaefer; and the mother of his children, Rosemarie Troina; along with many extended family members, friends and business associates.
A Masonic graveside service will be held on Wednesday, Aug. 21, 2019, at 7 p.m. at Spring City Cemetery with Rev. Dale Wyrick officiating.
Vaughn Funeral Home in Spring City is in charge of arrangements. Share condolences and memories of John at www.vaughn-funeral-home.com.