Ralph J. Wessel, age 94 of Melrose, passed away October 18, 2019 at CentraCare Park View Place in Melrose, Minnesota.
A Memorial Mass of Christian Burial will be held Wednesday, October 23 at 11 a.m. at St. John the Baptist Catholic Church in Meire Grove with Rev. Marvin Enneking officiating. Inurnment will be in St. Mary’s Cemetery in Melrose.
Visitation will be held from 9:30 to 11 a.m. Wednesday at the church.
Ralph Joseph Wessel was born May 20, 1925 in Melrose Township, the son of Edward and Angeline (Herzog) Wessel. On October 10, 1953 he married Marlene Ahlers in Cincinnati, Ohio. The couple farmed north of Melrose for over 50 years. After retiring from farming, Ralph worked for the Minnesota Department of Transportation as a custodian and crew leader at the Avon rest area. In 2014 Ralph and Marlene moved into Melrose.
Ralph and Marlene had a cabin on Little Birch Lake where they spent many years fishing and entertaining family and friends. He continued to fish well into his 90’s, winter and summer, and knew all of the best area fishing spots. When the weather wasn’t conducive to fishing, he loved to play cards. Ralph was a lifetime member of the Knights of Columbus. He was active in several community activities including past member of the board of the Melrose Senior Center and past-president and board member of the Little Birch Lake Improvement Association.
Ralph will be deeply missed by his wife of 66 years, Marlene, his four children and their spouses, Linda and James Beaver (Melrose), Sharon and Dwight Anderson (Melrose), Dennis and Jody (Krause) Wessel (Grey Eagle) and Anthony and Debbie (Taphorn) Wessel (New Hope), and his five grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.
Ralph was preceded in death by his parents, sisters Marie Mehr, Anna Mae Jost and Arlene Niermann, and granddaughter Katrina Wessel.
In lieu of flowers, the family asks that memorials be directed to the new Melrose church building.
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