(February 15, 1961 – July 14, 2015)
Patrick Timothy Riepma, “Coach R”, 54, went peacefully to be with his Heavenly Father early morning on Tuesday, July 14, 2015 at his home in Midland with family surrounding him. Pat was born February 15, 1961, in Grand Rapids, Michigan the youngest child of Paul and Gloria (Batt/Flannigan) Riepma. On July 25, 1987 Pat married Sherri (Isaacson) and they were blessed to have 28 wonderful years together.Coach R graduated from Columbia Central High School, Michigan in 1979, received his Bachelor’s Degree from Hillsdale College in 1983 and Master’s Degree from Central Michigan University in 1986. While at Hillsdale he distinguished himself as an outstanding quarterback earning him a place in the Hillsdale College Athletic Hall of Fame. After college Coach Riepma began his coaching career at Central Michigan before returning to Hillsdale as a part of the staff that won the 1985 NAIA National Championship. In 1993 he became the Head football coach at Northwood University where he led the teams to many winning seasons including three GLIAC Conference Championships. He was also a four time GLIAC Coach of the Year and led his team to four NCAA playoff appearances. At Northwood University he served as both Athletic Director and Head Football coach for a period of time, recently returning to the duties of Head Football coach exclusively. Coach R was recognized by numerous athletic associations around the state and was inducted into the Midland Athletic Hall of Fame in 2011. Many of the recent additions, improvements, and new construction of athletic facilities on the campus at Northwood University are the result of Coach Riepma’s successful fund raising efforts, love for the athletes, students and family of Northwood University. What has now become a campus motto, Coach Riepma clearly modeled and inspired others to lead their lives so that they “Make a Difference”. In addition to his coaching duties, Coach R was passionate and committed to mentoring athletes in their personal walk with Jesus Christ by leading the Fellowship of Christian Athletes at Northwood.Coach Riepma is survived by his wife, Sherri, sons, Zach (Kirstin who is considered a “daughter”), Jake, and Josh, and his mother, Gloria, all of Midland. He is also survived by his sister Mary (Thomas) Nixon of Suttons Bay, brothers, Michael (Cher) Riepma of Bolivia, and Paul (Doreen) Riepma of Seattle, Washington, his in-laws, Dr. Ronald and Mary Jo Isaacson of Oakland Township, sister-in-law Kathi (Tony) Vernaci , brother-in-law, Scott (Amy) Isaacson, numerous loving nieces and nephews and the family dog, Kyla. Coach Riepma was predeceased by his father Paul.In times of adversity, Coach R would remind us all to “Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1, 9.Funeral services will be held at 11:00am on Wednesday, July 22, 2015 at the Northwood University Football Stadium with Dr. William Rudd of Calvary Church, Muskegon officiating. Visitation will be on Tuesday, July 21, 2015 from 4-7 pm at Smith-Miner Funeral Home and on Wednesday, July 22, 2015 at Northwood Stadium from 10 am until the time of service. In case of rain the funeral will be moved inside to the Hach Student Life Center.Memorial donations may be directed to the Northwood University Football Program, Maranatha Bible conference or Midland Community Cancer Services.