Ralph Henry Raske was born on September 1, 1923 in Renville, MN, the son of Henry and Ethel (Herring) Raske. Ralph grew up and was schooled in Renville. In June 1944 Army Private First Class Ralph H. Raske, entered Company C 60th Infantry 9th Division through Fort Snelling, Minneapolis, MN. Ralph served in the Ardennes and Rhineland regions of central Europe as an aid to General Westmorland.
After returning to Minnesota Ralph was joined in marriage to Ina Hansen on August 22, 1946. He graduated from Dunwoody Institute as an automobile electrician. Ralph returned to Renville and worked at the Renville Co-op. Later he went to work for Community Electric where he worked for about twenty years. Ralph was also employed as chief electrician at Southern Minnesota Sugar Co-op until his retirement at the age of 62.
While Ralph’s sons were in Boy Scouts, Ralph served as a scout leader. He was a member of American Legion Post 180 in Renville and served as a volunteer fireman at Renville for several years. Ralph also served as a church elder at Ebenezer Presbyterian Church in Renville.
In his early years Ralph enjoyed woodworking and woodcarving. He liked to hunt and fish and enjoyed vegetable gardening, especially growing tomatoes. Ralph loved spending time with his many grandchildren and great grandchildren.
Ralph died on Sunday, July 11, 2004 at the age of eighty years. He was preceded in death by his parents; brother, Donald Raske; sister-in-law, Myrtilla Raske; sister, Gladys Luitjens; brother-in-law, Elmer Luitjens; and grandson, Shane Blankenhagen.
Ralph is survived by his wife, Ina of Alexandria; children, Kevin and wife, Marilyn Raske, of Alexandria, Cathie and husband, Blake Wrigley of Fargo, ND, Curtis and wife, Sue Raske, of Leander, TX and Timothy and wife, Alexandra Raske of England; grandchildren, Shannon (Mike) Kluver, Matt (Nicki) Raske, Abbey (John) Glenn, Ryan, Angie, Emily, Adam, Nicholas, Christopher, Melissa and Kathryn Raske; great grandchildren, Megan Bah, Zach, Tyler, Jacob and Luke Kluver; brothers, Juren “Bud” and wife, Arvilla Raske of Litchfield, MN, Bruce and wife, Bev Raske of Renville, and Dean and wife, Mary Jo Raske of Apple Valley, MN; sister, Myrna Aalderks of Renville; and many nieces and nephews.
A funeral service was held Wednesday, July 14, 2004 at the Evangelical Covenant Church in Alexandria. Pastor John LeVahn was the officiant. Pastor Steve Eng and Dean Olson provided music.
Sixty years later, Ralph returned to Fort Snelling National Cemetery where his interment was held on Thursday, July 15, 2004. Pallbearers included Rick Aalderks, Todd Raske, Mike Kluver, Matt Raske, Ryan Raske and Adam Raske. Honorary pallbearers were Nicholas and Christopher Raske.