Jacob Ruppenthal

Jacob Walter Ruppenthal

1913 - 2011

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Jacob Walter Ruppenthal Elmira: Age 98, passed away Saturday, September 24, 2011. Jake was born June 13, 1913, in Buffalo, NY, the son of Emil and Martha Hofmeister Ruppenthal. He was predeceased by his wife of 69 years, Hazel Long Ruppenthal on September 17, 2011. Jake is survived by his daughter and son-in-law Carole R. and Reverend James Towner of Buena Vista, CO; son and daughter-in-law, Mark J. and Eileen McCarthy Ruppenthal of Horseheads with their son Daniel Jacob; sisters and brother-in-law, Naomi and Hugh Campbell of Wilmington, DE, and Arline Learman of New Port Richey, FL; along with several nieces and nephews. In the 1930s and early 1940s, Jake was a jazz guitarist, playing with small ensembles and pit bands in various jazz venues throughout New York City and the northeast, including a Billie Holiday appearance in Buffalo, NY. After marrying Hazel Long in 1942, Jake began work as a civilian employee of the US Corps of Engineers, working on the Manhattan Project and the St. Lawrence Seaway. He was drafted in 1943 into the 64th Engineer Topographic Battalion serving in the Pacific Theater under both General MacArthur and Admiral Nimitz. He served as a specialist in reconnaissance photography with a security classification allowing him to photograph and prepare pre-invasion aerial maps, documentation of invasion targets, and post-battle occupations. Jake was present at the Battle of Okinawa and Iwo Jima, where he developed several of the photographs of the US Marine Flag Raising. Jake was one of the photographers on board the USS Missouri documenting the formal Japanese surrender and he continued to serve General MacArthur by providing photographic documentation of the occupation of Japan and the secret test of the first jet engines. Jake's post-war career was that of a chemist and lithographer. His first stop was in Binghamton at Anderson Press/Sun Bulletin, until 1949 when he & Hazel moved their young family to Elmira where he joined Artistic Card. Jake remained at Artistic Card, then Artistic Greetings, for 48 years as a color separation & print specialist, holding several patents in color processes and laser printing systems. Jake was an accomplished artist in numerous mediums, including wood carving, pencil drawing, portraiture, and oils, pastels, and watercolors. In this regard, Jake was often called on by the Metropolitan Museum in New York City to consult on painting restorations and he also assisted Great Lakes Press with an ink formulation process allowing them to convert Andrew Wyeth watercolors to a lithograph that could be mass produced. Jake was very active in all aspects of community life. In the early days of the Elmira Little Theater, Jake created & designed the sets for the various productions. He was a 32nd Degree Mason, a Shriner, a Paul Harris Fellow of Rotary Club, and an active participant with the Volunteers of America. In addition, Jake was a very active member of his church, serving in numerous leadership capacities, as well as serving as a long-standing member of the choir, of Hedding United Methodist Church which later became Christ United Methodist Church and is currently New Beginnings United Methodist Church. Jake's mural of the Resurrection can still be found in the chapel of Christ United Methodist Church on the corner of Columbia & Church Streets in Elmira. Following Jake's retirement, he and Hazel enjoyed spending time with their family & friends, and particularly their grandson, Daniel. Jake's interest in learning kept him occupied on his computer for hours at a time whether skyping his sisters or googling some obscure facts. He enjoyed telling stories of his adventures to anyone who had a few hours to listen and you never knew what you might learn about his history and the events he had witnessed. Family and friends are invited to McInerny Funeral Home, corner of W. Water and Walnut Streets, on Monday, September 26, 2011 from 4:00 p.m. to 7:15 p.m. A funeral service will follow at 7:30 p.m. Committal prayers and interment will take place at 11:00 a.m. on Tuesday, September 27, 2011 at Woodlawn Cemetery. Those wishing may remember Jake with a donation to New Beginnings United Methodist Church, 300 East Miller Street, Elmira, NY 14904 or to St. Mary Our Mother School Playground Fund, 811 Westlake Road, Horseheads, NY 14845.
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We are deeply sorry for your loss ~ the staff at McInerny Funeral Home