Sad news from the Sound Off Family

It is with great sorrow and sadness that I report tonight that the Sound Off Sister’s husband and best friend, “Rip” Van Wickler, passed on last night. Rip was a great brother in law, a fellow conservatarian, and the most tolerant person I think I ever met.

Each summer at their house on the Cape, he would put up with my rants, my violin playing and my disgust with the Red Sox. It often looked like he was just disinterested, but every now and then he would peak out from under his Crossword puzzle and say, “Well, what are you going to do about it?”.

Avid golfers, he never resisted taking a shot at my inability to play, which was always funny I can assure you, and eventually drove me from the game. A service to all.

And to give you an idea of what lay behind the rough exterior, his favorite past time each summer was feeding “Chip” their local chipmunk, grapes and nuts, which I was allowed to do as well, but only under careful supervision.

He and the SOS always made the music festival, always contributed well more than the cost of any ticket, and always pretended as if they liked the music.

Rip was an interesting man. A pilot for Eastern, National and Pan American, he loved to talk planes, and I would always turn to him after airline incidents for critical information. And of course I couldn’t resist pointing out that every airline he worked for went out of business.

My sister, as you can imagine is beyond sad this evening but I can assure you she is standing strong, as is her fashion. Rip and Barb did everything together. Never tired of being around each other. Indeed, they were best friends.

If you would like to express your condolences please leave it here in the comment page, as she is not connected to the e-mail. If you choose e-mail because you haven’t registered, I will try to forward them to her.


23 replies
  1. Rick-WH
    Rick-WH says:

    Barbara,  our hearts are heavy this morning hearing about the loss of your husband.   Please know that we are thinking of you always – when you are on air, in the chat room, posting, and when you are not.   Our thoughts are with you more than ever today – as you reflect upon the years that you had together and all that he has meant to you, your family and friends.


  2. Anne-EH
    Anne-EH says:

    To: The Members Of The Vicevich Family

    From: Anne-EH

    My condolences and prayers on the sad passing of “Rip” Van Winkler, SOBIL.

    ((((((((Gentle Hugs To The Whole Vicevich Family))))))))

  3. TomTGRWolcott
    TomTGRWolcott says:

    To all the family members of Barbara Vicevich

    I personally am very saddened this morning, and I so sorry for your loss

    of your friend, companion, confidant.  There is nothing that is of a greater loss.

    I believe that his memories will live on, and that he will be with you now and

    for always.

    Let me share these to quotes with you now.

    Unable are the loved to die.  For love is immortality.  ~Emily Dickinson

    Life is eternal, and love is immortal,

    and death is only a horizon;

    and a horizon is nothing save the limit of our sight.

    ~Rossiter Worthington Raymond

    And for the child in me, who always dreamed of being the one to find the golden ticket

    For some moments in life there are no words.  ~David Seltzer, Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory

    <!–it this movie-only quote by seltzer or was it in book charlie by dahl?–>

    We shall have you in our thoughts

    with much respect….

    Tom and Marc

  4. SingingMama
    SingingMama says:

    Dear SOS and Jim, Please know that there are so many of us praying for you and your family during this terribly sad time of loss.  You are never alone…may God bless and comfort you.

  5. Tim-in-Alabama
    Tim-in-Alabama says:

    Eternal rest grant unto him O Lord,

    And let perpetual Light shine upon him.

    May his soul

    And the souls of all the faithful departed

    Through the mercy of God

    Rest in peace.


  6. Dimsdale
    Dimsdale says:

    SOS and Jim,  my deepest and sincerest condolences on your loss.  I feel like your family is mine.  I am sure he is keeping an eye on you both from a better place.  God rest his soul.

  7. Anne-EH
    Anne-EH says:

    From the Holy Bible:


    Psalm  23


    "1 A psalm of David. 2 The LORD is my shepherd; there is nothing I lack.


    In green pastures you let me graze; to safe waters you lead me;


    3 you restore my strength. You guide me along the right path for the sake of your name.


    4 Even when I walk through a dark valley, I fear no harm for you are at my side; your rod and staff give me courage.


    5 You set a table before me as my enemies watch; You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.


    6 Only goodness and love will pursue me all the days of my life; I will dwell in the house of the LORD for years to come."

  8. Linda Mae
    Linda Mae says:

    Please know that you are in the hearts of many of your brother's listeners today and feel their energy as we express our sadness and support for you.

  9. weregettinghosed
    weregettinghosed says:

    They say there are no words to express the loss of a loved one but silence in event of loss is absence of being able to convey our feelings. Words are our expression of our feelings. May all of our words that you receive wrap about you and comfort you during this time of loss giving you the feeling that you are not alone but are being held up by a large group of the most caring individuals that truly love you. May God Bless you and shed his love upon you.


  10. laf
    laf says:

    At a recent memorial service it was said that love lasts longer than life.  My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.

  11. lyndaR
    lyndaR says:

    To Jim and Barbara and whole family: I offer my heartfelt condolences to you and my prayers are with you.  Remember that Rip is looking down and holding you close to him ,even if you cant feel it .I truly believe  this  God Bless you and give you strength

  12. Lazybum
    Lazybum says:


    I am sorry to hear of your loss. Jim's description of your husband made me smile-You gotta love a guy like that. You were lucky to have found someone to enjoy life with who was that good of a man. I would suggest that you give Jim his golf clubs…I bet he would smile. Again, my condolences to you and yours.

  13. Lucinda
    Lucinda says:

    Dear SOS,
    I am so sorry to hear of your husband’s death. Even though we haven’t met in person, you (and your brother) feel like family, and when one of the family is hurting, we all hurt. My heart aches for you, and I pray the God of all comfort will comfort you in this time of great loss.

  14. donh
    donh says:

    The passing of a loved one is where God becomes  most visible. May your perceptions be keen enough to see his presence in the last words your husband spoke , the dream you had, or the things that break in your house the following days. May your faith be strengthened by knowing with intimate certainty your husband still exists in some other  form and is OK.

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