Rippey gym renamed to honor Bill and Maybelle Wisecup

~by Mary Weaver

The Wisecup Gymnasium
The Wisecup Memorial Gymnasium

One of the final acts of the East Greene board of education is the re-naming the Rippey gymnasium. While the classroom portion of the building will be razed soon, the gym will continue to be used by the Greene County Schools. In recognition of the $250,000 donation from the Wisecup estate, it will be called the William and Maybelle Wisecup Memorial Gymnasium.

On April 1, 2011, several entities received gifts from the estate of the Wisecups. Five groups received a total of $1.3 million. Among those was the East Greene Community Schools, which received $224,014. Though the Wisecups did not have children of their own, they had an ongoing interest and supported the endeavors of the Rippey area community children.

Maybelle Stone Wisecup grew up in the Bayard area, graduating from the Bayard High school in 1945. She attended Simpson College and received a teacher’s certificate. For five years she taught in Guthrie County country schools and also in the Cooper school.   Her husband Bill grew up in Cooper, enlisting in the U.S. Navy in 1944, at age 17. He came home from WW II in 1946 and graduated from Cooper High School in 1947. Bill and Maybelle lived and farmed in the Rippey/ Cooper area.

In 1952 Maybelle, at age 25, began working at the First National Bank in Rippey, and was associated with the bank for 40 years, as it transferred to Peoples Trust & Savings. She was the manager for 12 years until her retirement in 1992.

The Wisecups faithfully planned and took a week’s vacation during the Iowa girls basketball tournament held in Des Moines. Each year they sat in the same balcony front row seats and attended every session, watching the blinking lights on the renowned state map go from 16 to 1.

Their generous contribution to the East Greene Community Schools helped to furnish the 5th and 6th grade synergy computer lab, designed to teach students about renewable energy sources. The playground equipment for the preschoolers was also purchased at the Grand Junction facility. In recognition of their love of girls’ basketball, some of the funds were also used to retrofit the heating for the gymnasium in Rippey in anticipation of the demolition of the boilers in the old building.

A plaque recognizing and honoring the Wisecups’ donation will be placed in the entry way to the building during the upcoming girls’ basketball season.

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