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From left, Melissa, Val and Dana Riepe work their family dairy operation, once ran by Sid Riepe. After Sid's death, the family received an outpouring of support from family and friends, and the community plans to host a benefit for them Saturday. David Samson / The Forum

For Twin Valley farm family, hard work continues after losing husband, father

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Sid Riepe handed his wife, Val, the letter without fanfare, while she milked cows on their farm here.

It was Valentine's Day, and in his trademark unassuming way, he had handwritten the note on the back of daughter Melissa's homework. He thanked Val for putting up with his passion for old cars and being a steadfast partner.

A relative's terminal illness had reminded him of his mortality and, he wrote, he didn't want to delay telling Val he loved her.

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