Obituary: Ralph Kurt William Wiedenhoeft
RALPH K. W. WIEDENHOEFT
Ralph Kurt William Wiedenhoeft, age 83 of Beaver Dam, passed away on Saturday, October 31, 2015 at Hillside Manor after a brief illness and hospice care.
Ralph was born March 16, 1932 in Milwaukee as the first of three children of German immigrants Victoria Helene (Oestreich) and Kurt William Wiedenhoeft, a mason contractor in Milwaukee. He married Arleen (Calbaum) on December 26, 1953 while home on leave from the US Army. He served as pastor of Deerfield Lutheran Church and St. Paul’s Liberty Lutheran Church in Deerfield following graduation from Luther Theological Seminary in St. Paul, Minnesota in 1967. Ralph moved to Beaver Dam in 1971 as chaplain at Wayland Academy and also served as Pastor of St. Paul’s United Church of Christ in Cambria for over seventeen years.
A long-time patron of Beaver Dam community arts, especially Beaver Dam Area Community Theatre, Ralph acted in or directed productions over several decades. As proprietor of The Fireplace Works in Beaver Dam, he worked as a creative mason of stone and brick with notable chimney, structural and ornamental walls, and fireplaces in private homes throughout south central Wisconsin, and as far afield as the East Coast and the Rocky Mountains.
Ralph was preceded in death by both parents, brother Ronald, son Joseph, and grandson Ryan. He is survived by wife Arleen (Calbaum); children, Ruth (John) Walker of Columbia, MO, William (Kathi) of Beaver Dam, Glenn (Mary) of Ames, IA, Paul (Kathleen) of Norfolk, VA, Christopher (Ruth) of Knoxville, TN, Kurt (Stephanie) of Milwaukee, and Rachel (John) Frizzell of Chippewa Falls; twenty grandchildren; a growing number of great-grandchildren; sister, Gloria (Gerhard) Strauss of St. Louis, MO; and further survived by nieces, nephews, and other relatives and friends.
A memorial service will be held at First Ev. Lutheran Church, 311 W. Mackie St., Beaver Dam at 11:00 am on Saturday, November 14. Rev. Mark Jensen and Paul Lindau will officiate.
Visitation will be at Cornerstone Funeral and Cremation Services, 135 Keller Blvd, Beaver Dam from 4:00 to 7:00 pm on Friday, November 13 and at First Ev. Lutheran Church prior to the memorial service on Saturday, November 14 from 9:30 to 11:00 am.
In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to the Beaver Dam Area Community Theatre Building Fund, P.O. Box 216, Beaver Dam, Wisconsin 53916 Attn: Jim Flynn, http://www.bdact.org/.
Cornerstone Funeral & Cremation Services in Beaver Dam is honored to be serving the family. You may view a more extensive obituary, send private online condolences or sign the family’s guest book at www.cstonefs.com