Todd Ripple, owner of Ripple’s Drive-In, 3235 N. Canyon Road, in Provo was a quiet, hard-working man. He could cipher better than any cash register while at the same time be making a strawberry shake and chatting up his customers.
Todd died early Saturday. The sense of loss by his family and the community can be read on family members’ Facebook pages and the Ripple’s Drive-In page.
If you can reach a person’s heart through their stomach, then Todd and his wife, Marilyn McCandless Ripple, have won the hearts of thousands with their juicy burgers and crispy fries, hot dogs and onion rings and myriad shakes and sodas.
For many customers it was Todd Ripple’s signature fresh lime drinks that got them through the heat of summer.
Todd and Marilyn Ripple met and fell in love working at Ripple’s. “We lived together, worked together and raised our kids together for 44 years,” Marilyn Ripple said. “We were always together. He was always by my side.”
The post on the Ripple’s Drive-In Facebook page Monday noted, “It is with a heavy heart we must share that the owner of Ripple’s Drive-In, Todd Ripple, passed away early Saturday morning. He died peacefully spending his time doing what he loved, hiking in the foothills of Provo, where he was born and raised,” the post said.
Todd Ripple was born Aug. 29, 1953, just two years before his parents opened Ripple’s Drive-In. He loved being outdoors, hunting, riding horses and being with friends and family.
“He had such a routine and woke up every day around 6 a.m. and went to the local Day’s Market. He bought hamburger, produce and supplies,” said Marilyn Ripple. “He loved to talk with Tim the produce man and Chuck the butcher. Then he would go to Ripple’s and peel potatoes, hand slice them into fries, hand bread his own onion rings, halibut and mushrooms, patty each burger by hand, and make fry sauce and tartar sauce for the day. He would then go on his morning hike.”
“Todd (and his family) is an Edgemont icon,” said Steve Day, owner of Day’s Market. “He embodied all that it means to be a small business owner. He has been coming to our store each morning since the early ’80s.”
His daily conversations with Steve and Brock Day, chatting with Tim, the produce manager about the Jazz or BYU; his hunting stories with Chuck, the meat manager; were part of their routine.
“We looked forward to those interactions and will miss Todd dearly,” Steve Day said. “He supported us by buying his ground beef, produce, etc. here and we loved to support his business. No better burger and that fresh lime always hits the spot.”
According to Brad Ripple, a son, Todd went on the same hike every day for years. Then he would go back to Ripple’s and open up for the day.
“In his younger years he was an avid runner and would run 5 miles a day before he headed up to work,” Scott Ripple, another son, said. “He loved hunting, fishing, and anything that had to do with the outdoors. He and his brothers Ty and Paul would ride through the Provo foothills on horses as young men.”
Not only did he hunt in the area, but had occasion to go on safari in Africa. Many of his prize game were mounted in his home.
He loved his family. He was such a great grandfather and took his grandkids on many hunts over the years, according to Brodee Ripple. He supported them in all their endeavors. He was very old-fashioned, not a big fan of technology or computers in any way.
“He took a lot of pride in his business which was a Provo staple, was featured in several movies including ‘The Phone Call’ and ‘Midway to Heaven.’ He took over the family business from his father, Wally Ripple, in 1985,” Brodee Ripple, his youngest son, said.
“I will always be grateful for the lessons he taught me and the way he raised and supported his entire family,” Brodee Ripple said. “He was such an incredible example and man. I see a lot of him in myself, my siblings, and my nieces and nephews. I tribute some of my best qualities to this man.”
At home he was always sharing stories of his childhood, talking about his siblings, hunts, hikes or one of the other thousand adventures he went on.
“He always had cookies or a treat on hand to share with his grandkids when they came over and loved when his grandkids would offer hugs as payment for an ice cream cone,” Alison Ripple Taylor, his daughter, said. “He took pride in his work ethic and his gumption, and that he wouldn’t take guff from anybody regardless of his size.”
Everyone would comment on how he was a human calculator and added up things in his head so quickly. People loved that he remembered their names, their orders, or just small details about their lives, Brodee Ripple added.
It wasn’t only his grandkids he loved, but he was a great and supportive father in-law, according to Amy Ripple, wife of Todd’s son, Scott.
“He stepped in and filled that spot in my life when my dad passed, and I always felt safe and not alone in that place of my life because of Todd,” Amy Ripple said.
The Ripple family and Ripple’s Drive-In are overwhelmed at the outpouring of love and support they are receiving at this time.
“We appreciate your understanding as we navigate this difficult time. Todd loved his business and the customers who became family along the way. We would love for you to share any photos, memories, or stories you have of Todd,” the family has requested.
The Ripple family is planning a celebration of Todd’s life for the public to attend but the date and time have not been determined. Information will be posted on the Ripple’s Drive-In Facebook page in the coming week.
In lieu of flowers, a Venmo account has been set up to aid with funeral expenses. It can be found @RippleFamilyFund, the last four digits are 6794.