Obituaries

Ralph E Steiner

May 27, 1933 - May 26, 2024 - New Holstein, WI

Funeral Service

Saturday, June 15, 2024

11:00 am


Holy Rosary Catholic Church

1724 Madison St.

New Holstein, WI 53061

Funeral Visitation

Friday, June 14, 2024

4:00 pm - 7:00 pm


Wieting Family Funeral Home

411 W Main St.

Chilton, WI

Funeral Visitation

Saturday, June 15, 2024

9:30 am - 10:45 am


Holy Rosary Catholic Church

1724 Madison St.

New Holstein, WI 53061

Ralph E Steiner

New Holstein WI

Ralph Erwin Steiner of New Holstein, WI, passed away on May 26, 2024, one day shy of his 91st birthday. He was born May 27, 1933, to Joseph and Pauline (Krebsbach) in New Holstein, WI. He was one of three children. Ralph is survived by his six children and 11 grandchildren as well as Carol Thiel (Leon, Alice’s brother), and Fran Steiner (Alphonse, Ralph’s brother).

Ralph attended Charlesburg Grade School and New Holstein High School. Ralph grew up on a farm where his love of making and creating things began. He was involved with 4-H and won Healthiest Boy in Calumet County. In FFA he showed pigs and cattle. Ralph also enjoyed the arts and participated in many plays through the Charlesburg Christian Youth Organization.  He learned how to play basketball in Erwin Seuer’s barn with Fr. Melchoirs providing the instruction. Ralph excelled in football and dabbled in many other sports.  In his high school yearbook Ralph said, “I came, I stayed, I graduated.” While he graduated in 1951 his heart never left as he acted as class reunion moderator for years. Ralph proved to be an eager life-long learner! 

After high school he worked on his Dad’s farm and did various other jobs until 1955 when he was drafted to serve in the Navy. During his term in the Navy, he rose to Pipefitter Third Class and became an excellent welder, a trade he would use his entire life. (Post farming, he gave up the welding rods for the sewing machine, adding many trademark pockets to his clothes to enable easy access to his phone!)  He served on the USS Shenandoah and traveled to the Mediterranean, Cuba, New York City, and other destinations while being stationed in Norfolk, Virginia.
 
Just prior to his discharge in 1957, Ralph had a premonition that he would marry a widow. Enter into the story Alice Ann Thiel, the love of his life. They met in September of 1957, were engaged on Valentine’s Day of 1958, and married on May 10, 1958, by Capuchin Lloyd Thiel, Alice’s brother. They became known as the honeymooners, after the popular TV characters of the same name.  

They lived a lifetime of love, raising their family.  Roger (Susan) and grandchildren Corissa and Carmen; Jerry (Denise) and grandchildren Brian and Ian; Bob (Julie) and grandchildren Jacob and Brandon; Jim (Mary) and grandchild Rachel; Barb (Dave) and grandchildren Zachary and Megan; Janet (John) and grandchildren Kurtis and Matthew.   Ralph and Alice passed on their love of learning and are very proud of the fact that all six of their children followed this passion, all graduated from college, with successful careers and families.  

Ralph was raised in a faith-filled household, and lived out his faith after experiencing a Cursillo, which was introduced to him by his cousin Gertie and good friend from Farm Bureau, Eunice Garsow. Ralph became a Cursillo leader and inspired and touched many lives through his heartfelt prayers and encouraging talks. Along with his wife Alice, Ralph positively influenced the lives of engaged couples and were very popular and sought-after speakers for over 15 years at Engaged Couples workshops. They were also memorable Married Couple retreat speakers and influenced many teenagers as Confirmation instructors. Ralph was known as an excellent prayer leader and helped many people through difficult times and living with pain. Ralph himself survived numerous medical challenges through his life, using his optimism and faith to propel his recoveries. 

They were fortunate to meet many wonderful people via their involvement as leaders in many different programs including Farm Bureau, Calumet County Dairy Promotion Board, Sundae on the Farm, Ag in the Classroom, among others. Ralph served as President of Calumet County Farm Bureau for a decade. Another life-changing event was participating in the Dale Carnegie Institute, and he quickly mastered the skill of remembering the first name of everyone in the room. He had a knack for connecting with people. Public speaking became his delight. He looked forward to these types of challenges in everything he did.  

Service to his community was extremely important to Ralph. He served as Town Supervisor, Country Board, and was appointed by Governor Tommy Thompson to serve on the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection Board. 

After nearly 30 years of dairying, Ralph started a new career as a bus driver. He drove for 25 years for New Holstein Schools and this became perhaps his favorite job. Everywhere he went, he was remembered by his former passengers for his safe driving, kindness and humor. He was famous for doing push-ups (like the team mascot) upon each score at football games. By the end of his career, he was driving the children of his early students! He especially loved the hundreds of high school sporting events to which he drove teams, including the State Baseball Championship. 

Through his many endeavors Ralph always generated new ideas. Alice was his helping hand, bringing the good ones to fruition!  What some of us remember most, however, are the moments he made us laugh, whether it be as the Great Carnac or hosting his own version of the Family Feud. Ralph was the ultimate optimist who always knew how to make people smile and laugh. 

When Ralph moved to assisted living at Willow Park in New Holstein he quickly became the “Resident Ambassador”. He welcomed new residents, co-led the exercise class and played Santa Claus. When Alice’s health declined with Alzheimer’s, he made the trek over to Willowdale every day to spend time with her, and in the process, connecting with residents and staff. He delivered on his mission to add a little sunshine to everyone’s day. He especially appreciated the excellent caregivers at both places who brightened his day and provided excellent care with love.  

In lieu of flowers, if you wish to make a donation, you can direct that to your favorite charity or the Ralph and Alice Steiner Family Scholarship https://cffvr.fcsuite.com/erp/donate/. 

A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at Holy Rosary, New Holstein at 11 a.m. on Saturday, June 15. A time of visitation will be held at the Wieting Family Funeral Home (411 W. Main St.) in Chilton from 4-7 pm on Friday June 14, and at the church from 9:30 to 10:45 am June 15. He will be buried at St. Charles Cemetery, Charlesburg.

Condolences


Marvin and I worked with Ralph and Alice at the St Charles picnic for many years they were a great couple they don’t make them like Ralph anymore wish there were more people like him

Marv and Dorothy Meyer (Friend ) 2024-06-14 21:28:09

Ed and I knew Ralph from Ed bus driving with Ralph for Daun Bus for many years. My mom was at Willowdale nursing home for the past 9 months and Ralph always said (Hi) to her. I appreciated that I loved his (Number One Dad) hat. My mom worked at Al and Fran's bakery years ago and we lived across from them in Chilton before Al passed. Sorry for your loss.

Kathy Lorenz (friend) 2024-06-05 13:54:33

My deepest condolences. "Death leaves a heartache no one can heal. Love leaves a memory no one can steal." Ralph was one of the most kindhearted people I've ever met! It was such an honor and privilege to care for him! I didn't know him prior to the last year or so of caring for him. After reading everything, my eyes tear up with joy with all that he has done and meant to everyone! No wonder he was one of my favorite residents! (Ssshhh!) He will greatly be missed by everyone. You all will be in my thoughts and prayers. God Bless.

DeAnn Buechel (Caregiver ) 2024-05-31 09:12:27

Jerry, Our sincere condolences. What an inspiring man of faith, family, and service your father was. An incredible life well lived. Our prayers are for him, you and your family. Warmest, Chris & Michelle

Chris & Michelle Samuel (Friend of Jerry) 2024-05-29 18:48:44

My condolences to your entire family. Ralph was the sweetest man and always had a smile on his face! It was my privilege to know & care for him.

Mary Jo Anhalt (Clinic medical assistant) 2024-05-29 14:18:13

Now I know where Jerry Steiner inherited all of his talents.

Dennis Plummer (friend of Jerry Steiner) 2024-05-29 10:02:54

My grandma always has remembered him fondly as one of her neighbors and loved having conversations with him. When we visited family at Willow park we would always chat with him. He was a fun loving man. Love and Prayers to his family and friends.

Angela Herrin and Barb Gustafson (Friend/neighbor) 2024-05-29 09:39:33

Ralph was not only the bus driver, he was part of the team. The players and coaches loved and respected him. When arriving at the away school parking lots, Ralph would yell, “good luck guys !”, then move the lever for the door to open-every time, with the same positive enthusiasm. I recall at the 2007 State Baseball tournament he stood up and gave a speech to the team about how well we represented the community and how proud he was of us. We invited him to our banquet every year. I was on his last drive, it was sad. Ralph was a class act and true legend for NH sports. RIP Ralph, ride high. Chad Dowland, New Holstein Baseball Coach 2002-2012.

Chad Dowland (Friend) 2024-05-29 06:36:23

Ralph made a lasting impact on every student that rode his bus. He truly cared about everyone, and his positive attitude and big smile were contagious. The best bus driver.

Joel Feider (Bus Rider) 2024-05-29 05:49:41

My heartfelt sympathy on your loss. Every interaction I have ever had with Uncle Ralph left me going away happier than when I came. His kindness and cheerful spirit are a torch that we can all hope to carry forward.

Tiff Eyre (Great Niece) 2024-05-28 22:30:49

Roger, Jerry, Bob, Jim, Barb and Janet - I will always remember your Mom and Dad for the kind giving hearts they had. We had so much fun getting together when we were all young. Although I lost touch with each of you over the years - I ran into your Dad (and Mom more years ago) over the years and always shared a hug and a laugh or two. They were very special and I am sure you will miss them tremendously - even though I am sure they passed on their Faith to each of you to know they are in Heaven - now together again - watching over each of you in a different realm, while they are playing cards, laughing and playing practical jokes with my Mom and Dad. Another Angel is in our Saviors Home!! God Bless you all!

Annette Salm (Family Friend) 2024-05-28 22:08:20

To the Steiner children, so many memories of times spent with your dad, mom and all of you. Your dad always was a ray of sunshine and his faith shined brightly. You have my deepest sympathy.

Ann (Salm) Loehrke (Friend) 2024-05-28 21:19:25

Dear Roger, Jerry, Jim, Bob, Barb and Janet, I am so sorry for your loss! Ralph and Alice were both such kind, wonderful people and will forever live in the hearts of all that knew them! Much love and hugs to you all!

Lisa Borzynski (College friend of the Steiners) 2024-05-28 19:54:30

My girls were young when he drove bus for them. Always greeted them by name with a smile. They recall him kindly when they discuss their school years and the bus ride. My condolences to the family.

Joann (friend) 2024-05-28 16:59:31

Uncle Ralph was such a kind, funny and spiritual man. We had many visits through the years and will miss stopping in to see him. May he rest in peace.

Betty and Allen Halpern (Niece) 2024-05-28 16:03:31

Our sympathy to the family. Ralph was a kind, gentle, funny man, and most importantly a faithful servant to our Lord and Savior. Rest in Heavenly Peace, Ralph.

Pat & Sandy (Neighbor) 2024-05-28 13:01:29

It was an honor and a blessing to help care for Ralph! He was always so kind and patient. One of the most loving men that I cared for at Willowpark Place. I ran into him at Willowdale and at the Chilton hospital, both times he couldn’t remember my name but I looked familiar to him. Both times he hugged me and whispered in my ear, “I love you”. That’s just who he was. He was friendly to all and always shared a smile. You will be missed but it makes my heart happy that you are with the love of your life, Alice again. I always enjoyed listening to him talk of how they met. My deepest sympathy for Ralph’s family.

Tabatha Whitten (Past caregiver ) 2024-05-28 10:25:51

Dear Jerry, Roger, Jim, Bob and Barb. While I only met your folks a few times, I know who they were based on the terrific job they did raising wonderful sons and daughter. Carol and I are praying for your peace and comfort during this difficult time. I hope you can take comfort remembering the good times and how long you had him with you. Dave and Carol Thompson

Dave Thompson (Friend of the Steiner boys) 2024-05-27 23:48:24

Ralph's family,so sorry for your loss, it was always a pleasure to spend time with Ralph wether it was after Mass or as a fellow bus driver. Ralph always had a smile on his face and a warm welcome. Peace be with you all.

Mike and Doris Bennin (Friends) 2024-05-27 22:11:45

Dear Jerry, Roger, Jim, Bob and Barb. While I only met your folks a few times, I know who they were based on the terrific job they did raising wonderful sons and daughter. Carol and I are praying for your peace and comfort during this difficult time. I hope you can take comfort remembering the good times and how long you had him with you. Dave and Carol Thompson

Dave Thompson (Friend of the Steiner boys) 2024-05-27 11:27:38

Oh what a sweet sweet man he was. Always a good morning how are you? I will so miss his amazing smile and kindness..

Sherry Maurer ((Willowdale therapy)) 2024-05-27 10:39:47

A wonderful human being who I always enjoyed speaking with during the times I would see him together with sons Bob, Roger and Jerry. He made everyone’s day a little brighter with his positive happy demeanor. Love and prayers to Ralph and his family. Patrick

Patrick Cashman (Friend of Ralph and his sons ) 2024-05-27 10:24:08

He could put a smile on your face just by kindness. He drove the Football players bus to many games for New Holstein. Win or loss he kept the spirit on the bus.

Pete Brandt (Friend) 2024-05-27 08:34:02

We are sorry for your loss. Ralph captured my heart as soon as I met him at Willowpark Place. The love and admiration he showed for Alice, reconnecting with Bob, his smile, the conversations, such a joy to pass by. May he enjoy the best party ever, celebrating his first birthday in heaven, being home, but patiently waiting for you all to join him again someday.

Kim Turney (Friend) 2024-05-27 04:16:24

Ralph was a very kind soul that never had a bad word to say about anyone. Eternal rest grant onto him dear Lord. May he rest in peace.

Deacon Pat Knier (Friend ) 2024-05-26 21:49:57

We are sorry to hear of Ralph’s death. He was such an interesting man with a very kind heart. May he rest in peace.

Chris and Dan Schirmer (Friend) 2024-05-26 18:21:32

Sending my sympathy for your loss. It was always a joy to speak with Ralph. He was such a kind soul. May he rest in peace!

Judy Woelfel (New Holstein) 2024-05-26 14:50:38


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