MADISON (WKOW)-- Funerals are already overwhelming and emotional, but for one Madison family, a funeral Wednesday morning was even more difficult to bear. They believe someone entered the church and stole a memorial box filled with condolences and cards.
The funeral was held at 11:00 a.m. Wednesday at St. Bernard Catholic Church in Madison. After the service was over family members noticed the box was gone. The countless stories, memories and condolences for 89-year-old Raymond Riphon were stolen from the family before they ever had a chance to read them.
"It's just really disheartening. It really is," daughter Linda Stanley says. "Church should be a place for people to go and feel safe. It just felt like a real violation that somebody would do that."
For Riphon, St. Bernards Church was so much more than a place of worship. It was a second home ever since he was just 7-years-old when his father Edward Riphon, the last Madison police officer to die on duty, passed away in 1932.
"Nothing was ever solved on the murder of my grandfather and this was my father's safe haven. He went to school here. He went to church here and this was something he would not miss was church," Stanley says.
For 82-years Riphon came to worship at the church. Each week he walked in and out of the same entryway his memorial box was stolen from Wednesday morning.
"He always sat in the third pew, aisle side, for five o'clock mass every Saturday," Father Michael Radowicz says. "He had a very good friend that would bring him to mass. He was always just a wonderful guy and just always had a bright smile."
With their grieving process cut short, family members are looking for the community's help in locating a box of priceless memories of a cherished father, grandfather and friend. They're asking anyone with information to please contact the family or their church.
"If they need the money, keep the money. I don't care about the money. Obviously they need it more than the charities that we would be donating to, but I need those cards for the healing process," Stanley says. "That's all we want. We just want the cards back. No questions asked."
Family members have already placed a lost and found ad in the newspaper. They plan to file a report with the Madison Police Department. They're asking the culprit or culprits to drop off the cards and condolences at either St. Bernards Catholic Church or Gunderson Funeral Home.
MADISON (WKOW)-- Funerals are already overwhelming and emotional, but for one Madison family, a funeral Wednesday morning was even more difficult to bear.
Family members of 89-year-old Raymond Riphon believe someone entered the church and stole a memorial box filled with condolences and cards. They believe the box was stolen during the service Wednesday morning at St. Bernard's Catholic Church in Madison. They're now asking for the community's help in finding this missing box.
"If they need the money, keep the money. I don't care about the money. Obviously they need it more than the charities that we would be donating to, but I need those cards for the healing process. That's all we want. We just want the cards back. No questions asked," daughter Linda Stanley says.
Tonight on 27 News at 10:00 p.m. see the full story about a family seeking closure after a theft at their father's funeral.
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