Ralph E. Sanders

Ralph E. Sanders

FORT ATKINSON–Ralph E. Sanders, age 91, Fort Atkinson, passed away peacefully Sunday, May 28, 2017, at Rainbow Hospice Inpatient Center, Johnson Creek, WI.

Ralph was born on January 22, 1926, in Hillsboro, WI, the son of Joseph and Helen (Corn) Sanders. Ralph graduated from LaCrosse Central High School in January of 1944 and immediately enlisted in the U.S. Army. He was a proud veteran of World War II serving from 1944-1946.

Ralph was a 60 mm. gunner with Company C, 310th Infantry Regiment, 78th Division. He was awarded four Battle Stars and a Purple Heart for his heroic service.

Ralph graduated in 1950 from LaCrosse Technical College and worked for several Wisconsin Companies as a new product design engineer specializing in designing stainless steel milking equipment. He also worked in sales and as an Engineer Consultant.

Ralph married Rose Marie Schaefer in 1946. She predeceased him in 1951. Two children, Kay and Craig, were born to that union. Ralph married Jacqueline (Jackie) Vicky Richter on August 1, 1953. During their 63 years of marriage they have enjoyed raising the children; traveling in their motor home to country and blue grass music festivals where they made many long lasting friends; and being active in several social organizations. Ralph was a member of the Fort Atkinson American Legion, Fort Atkinson Disabled Veterans Blackhawk Chapter 39 and the Fort Atkinson First Congregational UCC.

Ralph is survived by his wife, Jackie; his son Craig (Gwen), North Carolina; sister Bessie Fjelstad and brother Kenneth. He is also survived by Jackie’s family, nieces and nephews, cousins and friends.

In addition to his first wife, Ralph was preceded in death by his parents; daughter, Kay; and brothers, Charles, Sidney and Roger.

The family would like to thank the medical community for their kind and dedicated care that extended Ralph’s life, especially Dr. David Ciske, Internal Medicine, 20 S. Park; Dr. Steven Cattapan, Pulmonary, 202 South Park; Dr. Robert Hegeman, Hematology, 1 South Park and Nurse Practitioner Karen Huseby-Moore, Hematology, 1 South Park, all with UWHealth. They would also like to thank Rainbow Hospice for the compassionate care and comfort they provided in Ralph’s last days as well as special friends Jeanne Stark and Joe Slaney for their support.

A memorial service with Military Honors will be held at 11 AM Friday, June 2, 2017, at the First Congregational UCC, 31 West Milwaukee Avenue, Fort Atkinson, with Pastor Chris Buckingham-Taylor officiating. Visitation will be held from 10 AM until the time of the service. Burial will be at a later date in the Onalaska, WI Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the First Congregational UCC in Fort Atkinson or Rainbow Hospice, Johnson Creek.

The Dunlap Memorial Home in Fort Atkinson is serving the family.