Cover photo for Ralph Budke's Obituary
Ralph Budke Profile Photo

Ralph Budke

August 12, 1916 — March 28, 2008

Ralph Budke

Ralph Budke was born August the 12th, 1916 to Herman William Budke and Clara Sarah Neuman Budke on the farm his father homesteaded near Sherwood, North Dakota. In 1919, he moved to Minnesota with his parents to a farm north of Wheaton. He grew up on that farm and enjoyed farming with horses more so than the machinery that followed. He went to church a mile west and school a east completing the 8th grade. First thing he had to learn at school was how to speak English. Ralph was farming and had cattle when he was drafted into the US Army on December 3, 1941. Ralph served until April 3, 1945 when he was honorably discharged. He returned to Wheaton and hauled gravel for a time. He was united in marriage to Flora Jean Mielke on March 9, 1947. Ralph sold the gravel trucks and went to barber college, working in Bristol, South Dakota as a barber for 2 years. He then came back to Wheaton and worked in the E.H. Vye Hardware Store. He also sold suits for Interstate Garment Manufacturing traveling many miles in about a thirty miles radius of Wheaton. In 1956, he went to work at the Minnesota Highway Department. He lived in Wheaton and drove to Morris, Minnesota every weekday. With Jeans help he received his high school diploma, so he could transfer to the design department as a draftsman. In 1959, he transferred to St. Paul, transferring again in 1962 to Detroit Lakes, Minnesota where he worked for the Minnesota Highway Department until his retirement in 1982. Ralph helped everyone in retirement. First his mother, then mother-in-law, his wife, and all of his children. He also got to help farm with his son Roger on the same farm he bought before the war, something Ralph thoroughly enjoyed. Ralph also enjoyed gardening, having as many as three gardens at a time. He also picked up apples, canning and freezing many. He lived in Wheaton with his wife until four years ago when he entered the Prairie View Place in Wheaton, which was only one block from their house, and finally at the Rosholt Care Center in Rosholt, South Dakota. Flora passed away September 16, 2007. Ralph passed away Friday, March 28, 2008 at the age of 91 at the Rosholt Care Center in Rosholt, South Dakota. Ralph is survived by daughter: Carol Kern of Dent, Minnesota, Sons; Roger (Alana) Budke of Wheaton, Minnesota & Keith (Nancy) Budke of Wheaton, Minnesota, two brothers: Clarence (Ruth) Budke & Ronald Budke, seven grandchildren: Joel & James Kern, Josh, Adam & Jenna Budke, & Will & Katherine Budke, as well as many nieces and nephews. Ralph was preceded in death by his wife, parents, brothers; Oren & Myron, sisters-in-law: Virginia & Audrey, brother-in-law: Bill Siltman, one niece and one nephew.
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