American Veteran 04

Jason Virgil Ruppe

June 24, 1927 ~ January 22, 2020 (age 92)

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Jason Virgil “J.V.” Ruppe died peacefully at Hospice of Rutherford County on January 22, 2020 in Forest City, NC, at the age of 92.

He is survived by: daughters Sandra Ruppe, Hickory, NC; Lydia Ruppe Foster, Granite Falls, NC; and Myra Ruppe Schwartz, Raleigh, NC; Son-in-law, Jerry Foster, Granite Falls, NC; grandchildren, David Foster, Granite Falls, NC, and Gwen Foster, Hickory, NC; and great-granddaughter, Mya Streater, Hickory, NC. He is preceded in death by his wife, Edith Cole Ruppe, Forest City, NC, and sister Lucy McKinney, Stanley, NC.

Jason was born on June 4, 1927 in Rutherford County to Weston and Virgil Ruppe. He was a graduate of R.S. Central High School in Rutherfordton, NC. He married his love Edith Cole in 1950 while he was serving in the U.S. Army and training to be a medic. Edith and Jason’s first daughter was born while he was stationed and they were residing in Tacoma, WA. He earned the life-long nickname “Jaybird” while in the army.

After moving to Glen Alpine, NC, he worked as a machine controller at Great Lakes Carbon in Morganton. In 1966, he and his family moved to Forest City, NC, where he quickly became a vibrant and respected member of the community.

After earning an associate’s degree in business, Jason worked as an insurance agent for various companies including Western & Southern, Southern Life and others before forming Ruppe Insurance Agency in Forest City, NC. He was also a real estate agent for many years in the Rutherford County area. Enjoying his work, he did not officially retire until age 87.

His children remember him as a kind, witty, and patient father who encouraged them to pursue their goals. He was especially fond of cakes and pies and was always ready to eat dessert, asking “Whatcha got sweet?!” Jason was a natural comedian and was one of the “drugstore cowboys” who frequented Smith’s Drugstore in downtown Forest City. He was also very fond of camping, ACC basketball, bluegrass festivals, horseshoe pitching, badminton, playing cards and other games such as Carrom, and mini golf.

He was an active and dedicated member of Florence Baptist Church in Forest City and sang in the choir for more than 50 years. Jason was also a volunteer emergency rescue technician in the 1970s, a charity volunteer, and an avid music lover who sang tenor in barbershop quartets and other local groups for decades. His favorite musician was Chet Atkins. He could often be found with his beloved pets and enjoyed the company of dozens of dogs and cats throughout his lifetime.

The funeral service will be conducted at 3 o’clock on Monday, January 27, 2020 in The Padgett and King Chapel with Reverend David Cox officiating.  The family will receive friends from 1:30 until 2:45 prior to the service.  All are welcome to attend and celebrate Jason “J.V.” Ruppe’s life. Interment will be private for the immediate family in the Shiloh Baptist Church Cemetery. 

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to: Hospice of The Carolina Foothills, Post Office Box 336. Forest City, NC, 28043 or the Rutherford County Humane Society, Post Office Box 998, Rutherfordton, North Carolina 28139.

The Padgett and King Mortuary & Crematory is in charge of arrangements and an online guest registry is available at

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