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Obituary: Ralph Frei

Aug 05, 2014 01:40PM ● Published by Jim

Ralph Frei

Ralph Frei age 67, of Markesan, passed away on Sunday, August 3, 2014 at the Markesan Resident Home.

Ralph was born to Frederick “Fritz” and Avis Frei on February 20, 1947 in Ripon, Wisconsin.  He was baptized and confirmed at Zion Lutheran Church, Fairwater.  He served as a Sunday school teacher and an usher.

During his high school years, he played varsity football and was a member of FFA.  Ralph graduated from Markesan High School in 1965. He also graduated from the UW-Madison Farm Short Course.

Ralph was an active 4-H club member.  At a National 4-H Conference in Madison he met Caroline Keplin whom he married September 9, 1967.  Together they raised three children while farming in the Fairwater and Markesan area.

In addition to farming, Ralph also worked at Fall River, Friday, Green Giant, and Seneca Canning Companies.  In 1992 he began delivering LP gas for Herschbergers/Cole Oil and Propane.  He retired in December 2013.

For over 30 years Ralph served as a board member and president of the Lutheran Teens Athletic Association.  He enjoyed watching college sports, Nascar, old Western movies, and antique shows.  In his early years he enjoyed fox and deer hunting.  In his later years, Ralph enjoyed each minute he had with his grandchildren.

Survivors include his wife, Caroline, of almost 47 years; one daughter, Cynthia Frei (friend Carol Johnson) of Ripon; two sons, Gerald Frei of Jackson, WI, and Jeffrey Frei  (friend Tammy Johnson) of Markesan; three grandchildren, Faith, Jordan, and Holden; one brother, Roger (Kathy) Frei of Fairwater; one sister, Grace (Jim) Werzinske of Cincinnati, OH.  Further surviving are his mother-in-law, Esther Stellmacher of Ripon; brothers-in-law & sisters-in-law Richard & Barbara Stellmacher, Ronald & Benita Keplin of Ripon; and several nieces, nephews, cousins, and friends.

Ralph was preceded in death by his parents, Frederick “Fritz” and Avis Frei.

Visitation will be held Saturday, August 9, 2014 from 9:00 am until the time of service.  Service will be held at 11:00 am at Zion Lutheran Church, 100 Church St. in Fairwater with Pastor Shari Routh officiating.  Burial will follow at the Fairwater Cemetery.

Memorials may be given in his name to Lutheran Teen Athletic Association c/o  Sheryl Polster, N 6251 Hwy OJ, Plymouth, WI 53032 or to the family.


Cornerstone Funeral & Cremation Services, 181 S. Main Street in Markesan, 920-398-3998, is honored to be serving the family. You may send private online condolences or sign the family’s guest book at 


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