James VanRiper

Published 5:44 pm Wednesday, June 8, 2022

A celebration of life for James “Butch” VanRiper who passed away June 4th, 2022, will be held on Monday, June 13th at 1:30pm at The First Lutheran Church of Albert Lea. Visitation will be held from 1-1:30PM prior to service. Interment will be in the Hillcrest Cemetery.

James VanRiper

Butch was born in Albert Lea at home on August 20, 1942, to James VanRiper and Adelia (Dahl) VanRiper. He lived with his parents for the first fifty years of his life.

Butch came to live at Crest Services on March 12, 1993 and made this his home for 29 years. He shared his home with his housemates Jeremiah, Willie and Troy and they took great care of each other. He enjoyed collecting and watching old  movies and television re-runs of “Gun Smoke,” “I Love Lucy” and “I Dream of Genie” to name a few. He had a great passion for writing and journaling and kept a detailed journal of every single person that he encountered. You come to realize very quickly that if you were an entry in his journal, it was not necessarily a good thing. In fact, Jayne will attest to this, as she was the lucky recipient of several entries in his journal throughout the years because she did not always give Butch the biggest piece of birthday cake at the party! We joked, “Watch what you do, or you will end up in Butch’s journal!”

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Butch loved to travel and did so every year either with his family or his friends at Crest Services. He traveled to Branson several times, Duluth, Grand Marais, Nashville, Colorado, North Dakota, Chicago, and Iowa.

Butch worked at Cedar Valley Services for 33 years, retiring on 12-21-11. Throughout his years at Cedar Valley Services and Crest Services Butch had many, many friendships. He was very well liked by all that knew him.

Butch was a great advocate for himself and made it known at his yearly annual meeting, bringing with him a list of concerns and requests usually 4-5 pages long, front and back. Each was addressed to his satisfaction.

Butch’s greatest passion in life was his family. He never missed a chance to gather with his family and was famous for taking hundreds of pictures of them. You never seen him without a camera in his hand. When digital cameras were introduced, Butch continued to take pictures, but most of the time it ended up being a selfie. He could never understand how to work a digital camera and could never understand why anyone would ever make a digital camera, let alone with no film!

Left to cherish Butch’s memory is his sister Karen Christenson, nephews, Rodger (Jayne), Randy (Jade) and Roni; grand nephews and nieces, Garrett (Ashley), Michael (Sabrina), Ashley, Ahna (Nick), Kate, Grace, Josh (Meg), Sammi (Sam); great grandniece, Willow, his housemates Jeremiah, Willie, and Troy; and his entire Crest family, staff, and members.

Butch was preceded in death by his parents; grandparents; brother-in-law, Rodger

Christenson; and numerous aunts and uncles.

Butch will be missed by lives he touched with his kind heart and gentle spirit.

Blessed be his memory.