Ralph Bartels

    Ralph I. Bartels, 92, of Lansing died Friday, November 14, 2014 at his home surrounded by his family in Lansing. Funeral Service was held Tuesday, November 18 at the United Methodist Church, Lansing. Burial will follow at Oak Hill Cemetery, Lansing with full military honors.

Ralph was born February 16, 1922 in Maynard. He graduated from high school in 1940 and enlisted in the United States Army March 13, 1943. He went to Europe October 8, 1943 and landed on Utah Beach on D+19. His unit, the 333rd Special Service Engineers, built and rehabilitated roads, bridges and rail lines across Europe. He returned to the U.S. November 18, 1945 and was honorably discharged as a TEC 5 Corporal in December of 1945. He received the Jubilee of Liberty Medal from the French government for his service. After his service in the Army, Ralph married Dorothy Kehr February 16, 1947.

Ralph was dedicated to his family, church and community. He was a devoted husband, father, grandfather and great-grandfather. He was interested in everything and everybody, and was a friend to everyone in his community. He loved to do things for others and was always willing to lend a hand. There was never an end to his innovative home projects. Ralph traveled with the Heritage Club with his wife throughout his retirement.

Ralph worked in Maynard and at John Deere in Waterloo before moving to Lansing in 1949. He worked at Kehr Brothers Hardware until 1971. He then owned half interest in the hardware store before retiring in 1984 and selling the store to Bill and Susan Bartels.

Ralph was involved in numerous organizations. He was a member of the Lansing Fire Department for 43 years, of which he was Secretary and Treasurer for 30 years. He served on the Lansing City Council for 16 years, and he was Treasurer of the Boy Scouts since 1984. Ralph was also a life member of the American Legion Post #50 since 1950, serving as Adjutant for 50 years, was a life member of VFW Post #5981, and was a member of the 40 et. 8 Voiture Locale #813. He was also a member of the Lansing Medical Board, member of the Lansing United Methodist Church, and served as a trustee on the church board and sang in the choir, as well as serving in many other organizations throughout the community.

Ralph is survived by his wife, Dorothy “Dodie”; three children, Steve, Suzanne and William; five grandchildren, Sandy, Scot, Cheryl, Mark and Jeff, and seven great-grandchildren. Ralph was preceded in death by his parents, Julius and Wilma; his sisters, Hazel and Ortha; and his brothers, Harold, Vernon and Richard.

Condolences may be left for the family at www.graufuneralhomes.com. Thornburg-Grau Funeral Home and Cremation Service, Lansing assisted the family with arrangements.