Elderly couple with Wisconsin roots die in California fire

The Rippey's celebrated their 75th wedding anniversary last year

A family member says an elderly couple that died in a Northern California fire was together since grade school and celebrated their 75th wedding anniversary last year.

Mike Rippey said Tuesday that his 100-year-old father, Charles, and 98-year-old mother, Sara, grew up in a small town in Wisconsin and went to college in the state together.

They settled in Napa after Mike Rippey said he moved to the region about 45 years ago.

Rippey said his mother didn't move well, and his parents were unable to get out before the blaze destroyed their home. His brother found their bodies on Monday.

"Those of us in the family always wondered what would happen if one of them died and the other one was still left because we knew that there's no way that they would be happy, whoever was the last one. And so they went together," Rippey said.

The California wildfires have killed at least 15 people and destroyed more than 2,000 homes and businesses.


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