Our beloved father, husband, and friend passed away peacefully on the evening of January 4, 2019 surrounded by his loving family. To his family he was Taylor; to all others who knew him, he was "Skip". Taylor Ribbeck, 96, was born in Buffalo, NY on December 22, 1922 to the late Florence and Rudolph Ribbeck. He attended schools in Buffalo and graduated from West Seneca High School in 1940. During his teen years, he worked in his father's Studebaker/Nash Automobile Dealership and Repair Shop where he became an expert in automobile repair. While a senior in high school, he attended Burgard Vocational School at night where he also became an expert in repairing diesel engines. Upon graduating from night school, he began working for Buffalo Aeronautics and in 1942, he was the first to take a new test for licensing aircraft engine mechanics. Upon passing with flying colors, he became the youngest licensed A&E (Airframe and Engine) mechanic in western New York. Being a licensed aircraft mechanic, he was deferred from active military service during World War II but was assigned to the Army Air Corps Reserve. It was determined that his knowledge and skills could be better utilized to support the war effort. Also during this time, he trained and became a licensed pilot. Just prior to the War ending, he received a telegram ordering him to report to the draft board for active duty. Before his actual report date, he was discharged due to the war ending.
In 1944, Skip moved to Charlotte to work in the aeronautics field. He joined Eastern Airlines in 1952 as a mechanic and continued employment with them for 13 years. He came to be known as the mechanic who could fix anything when no one else could. After leaving Eastern Airlines, his career took several different paths until he began teaching auto mechanics at East Mecklenburg High School and Central Piedmont Community College. Two years later, he was offered the job which he always said that he most enjoyed. He designed and implemented a woodworking program to teach physically and mentally disadvantaged students at Metro School and taught the program for 13 years. He retired from Metro School in 1986 but did not retire from life.
Skip stayed active in his senior years giving of his time and many talents to various civic organizations. He delivered Meals on Wheels weekly for 13 years. He would often laugh that many of the people he would visit with their meals were much younger than he. He was a volunteer for the Senior Health Insurance Information Program (SHIPP) for 14 years helping seniors navigate the health insurance industry. The Stanley Lions Club was the fortunate recipient of much of his time where he helped collect and sort glasses to be distributed to the less fortunate. Skip was active in his church, First Presbyterian Church of Stanley, for 33 years. He served on the Board of Deacons and as Chairman for several years and taught Sunday school.
Skip became a Freemason in 1958 and was a member of several Masonic organizations. In his younger years, he was an active member of the Blue Lodge of Stanley, Oasis Shrine Temple, Scottish Rite, and York Rite where he served as secretary for many years. He was a Past Patron of the Eastern Star and Past Royal Patron of the Order of the Amaranth. He enjoyed his Masonic affiliations very much.
Skip leaves a large extended family. He is survived by his loving wife of 36 years, Phyllis; his children Rudy Ribbeck (KuYon), Donna Ribbeck Boyd (Sam), and Carol "Sparkle" Ribbeck Lucente; grandchildren, Kim and Scott and great grandchildren, Jesse and Zack; sisters, Phyllis, Irene and Beverly. When Skip married Phyllis in 1982, he embraced her children and gave them all his Fatherly love and they likewise returned their love to him. Surviving are Beverly Lewallen (Danny), Vicki Moore (Larry), Steve Weaver (Tammy), Kim Walden (Shane), and Donna Dobbins (Jeff); grandchildren, Michael, Carly, Kylie, Taylor, Dylan, Ashlyn, Manissa, Ashley, and Jake, and five great grandchildren.
Skip was a very special man. He was intelligent and very knowledgeable about many things and enjoyed talking and sharing his knowledge and his stories. He was kind and thoughtful to all and to everyone who crossed his path. He had unlimited compassion for his fellow man. He never met a stranger. That twinkle in his beautiful blue eyes made him endearing. He will be tremendously missed.
Funeral services will be held on Thursday, Jan 10, 2019 at 2:00 P.M. at First Presbyterian Church of Stanley, 512 Old Mount Holly Road, Stanley, NC and will be officiated by Rev. Steve Jessen and Rev. Dan King. Pallbearers will be Michael Lewallen, Ryan Bowles, Justin Cline, Jake Dobbins, Craig Pengerson, Danny Lewallen, Jeff Dobbins, Joshua Wallin, and Shane Walden. Masonic Graveside Service to be held at Hillcrest Gardens Cemetery following the funeral.
Visitation will be on Wednesday evening, January 9, 2019 from 6:00 - 8:00 P.M. at First Presbyterian Church.