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John J. Riffee

Posted 2017-11-09

Born June 8, 1943 in Baltimore, Ltc. John Joseph Riffee was the youngest son of Allen H. Riffee and Florence M. Nelka.  He died peacefully at his home in Edinburg surrounded by his family and close friends on November 2, 2017.

John was best described as a self-made man who lived a vibrant life filled with many passions and joys.  He was a avid collector of many things, but above all, he counted amongst his greatest possession the family and friendships he made and maintained over the years.

In 1966 John began his military career when he was drafted into the US Army and was eventually commissioned a 2nd Lieutenant in 1967.  During his time in the service he did overseas tours in Germany, Korea, the Republic of Sudan, and two tours in Vietnam (He liked to comment “I volunteered for a third tour, but the canceled the war!”).

John received his Bachelor of Science from the University of Albuquerque and Master of Business Administration from Central Michigan University.  During his years in the Army he also became a graduate of the US Armed Forces Staff College, completed the US Army Logistics Executive Development Course, and the US Department of Defense Program Management Course.  He was proud to have received many awards during his years of service including the Defense Superior Service Medal, two Bronze Stars, and five Vietnam Campaign Medals.

In 1990, John retired from the Army with the rank of Lieutenant Colonel and began working full time in Civilian Service.  He went on to become a consultant to AT&T Federal Systems Division and taught graduate level courses in Systems Engineering and Life-Cycle Cost Management at the Defense Systems Management College.  During this time he published many articles and guidebooks concerning International Military Science Technology and Logistics.  Upon his retirement from the Civil Service in 2000, the United States Senate recognized John for his work by dedicating a flag to fly in his honor above the National Capital Building.

In his later years he became a very vocal voice of conservative politics.  He held numerous memberships in organizations he felt passionate about including a Life Membership in the NRA, The Vietnam Veterans of America, The Edinburg Veterans of Foreign Wars, and the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

John is survived by his two brothers, Allen Riffee (Sissy) and Gary Riffee (Mary), a son, Steven Riffee (Debra), two grandchildren, Logan Riffee and Renee Riffee, two nephews, A.W. Riffee (Brenda) and Michael Riffee, one niece, Courtney Riffee, in addition to many cousins and close friends.

The family would like to make special mention of several individuals who were especially dear to John.  Mr. Calvin Simpkins, who through it all remained John’s best friend, co-conspirator, closest ally, and adopted brother.  Ms. Francis Raymond, who selflessly gave her time, energy, and love to be there for John.  Mr. Johnny Archdeacon, who always made him laugh and kept John’s compound looking pristine.  Mr. Friendly “Worthless” Cat, who was the best Feline friend a man could have and who kept John’s lap warm even into the last hours.

Pallbearers:  Mr. Ronnie Bowers, Mr. Bart Dellinger, Mr. Tom Kirschner, Mr. Wayne Rinker, Mr. Ronnie Sheetz, Mr. Steve Shelton.  Honorary Pallbearers:  Mr. Justin Andersson, Mr. Leo Dasher, Mr. Donnie Sheetz, Mr. Jake Stoneburner.

Services will be held on Sunday November 5, 2017 at 2:30 p.m. at Edinburg Christian Church.  The family will receive friends for visitation at the church before the funeral, beginning at 1:30 p.m.  The interment will follow after the Service at Mt. Calvary Cemetery in Woodstock.  The family would like to invite friends to join them for refreshments and a social hour of remembrance at the church immediately following the interment. Online condolences may be sent to

Arrangements are in the care of Heishman Funeral service, Inc., Valley Funeral Service Branch, Bowmans Crossing

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