Ralph Edward Tarvin, of Bloomington, formerly of Richfield, died at his home on Saturday, September 21, 2013. He was 85 years old.
FUNERAL SERVICES will be held at 11:00 A.M. on Friday, September 27, 2013, at Richfield United Methodist Church, 5835 Lyndale Ave. S. Minneapolis, MN 55419. Rev. Elizabeth Macaulay will officiate.
VISITATION will be 1 hour prior to the service at the church.
PRIVATE INURNMENT at Dawn Valley Cemetery, Bloomington, MN.
MEMORIALS are preferred to Richfield United Methodist Church.
Ralph Edward Tarvin was born 85 years ago, on January 18, 1928, at Oneonta, on the Ohio River, in Campbell County, KY. Ralph’s parents, Roy and Frieda (White) Tarvin were proprietors of the general store at Oneonta Landing when their third son, Ralph, was born. In 1932, the family moved to Ralph’s grandparents’ farm. The farm was called, “Up-On-The-Hill”. It was located high on the bluffs above Oneonta – overlooking the Ohio River. In his memoirs, Ralph remembers this as “a place without limits or boundaries. It was a wide open world of woods, hills, creeks and valleys as far as the eye could see all waiting for me to explore”. This very special place became Ralph’s boyhood playground and teacher. Ralph enlisted in the US Navy in 1945. He served in the Seabees in the South Pacific until the end of WWII. Upon discharge, he returned to KY and attended the University of Cincinnati.
In 1951, Ralph’s employer transferred him to Minneapolis. Later that year, a co-worker invited Ralph to his home for a canasta party. There he met the love of his life, SuzAnn Dobie. They were married on April 4, 1953 at Le Sueur, MN. The newlyweds lived in Kansas City and St. Louis, before returning to MN in 1955. Ralph was ahead of his time as a “hands on dad” to his four children. As the kids grew up, he took an active role in their interests by coaching and “umping” ball games and serving as chaperone for countless kids’ activities. His family will remember Ralph as a “fixer of everything”, a humorist and master of puns, the undisputed leader of the men’s annual “walleye pilgrimage” and as their wise and compassionate patriarch.
During his career, Ralph was employed in sales and sales management and operated his own personnel placement service. He retired in 1991. Retirement gave Ralph & SuzAnn the freedom to thoroughly enjoy travel, hobbies, friends and family activities. Ralph was a member of Minnehaha Lodge No. 165 AF & AM, American Legion Post 435, Tarvin Family Association and Richfield United Methodist Church. In 1995, Ralph was diagnosed with prostate cancer. Ralph reflected recently about his gratitude for the “bonus years” since his cancer diagnoses. He said, “I have taken time to visit with many people that in the past, I might have rushed right by – and I’ve learned from them… I was given time to make peace with a lot of things…” Ralph also used his bonus years to study Tarvin family genealogy, to write his memoirs and to serve as a parish minister in his church.
It has been our privilege to accompany Dad on his journey during these last days. He will be very dearly missed. May God bless his memory.
Ralph was preceded in death by his parents, Roy and Frieda and brothers, Roy and Raymond. He is survived by his beloved wife of 60 years, SuzAnn; children, Jane (Michael) Ingebrand, Jean (Douglas) Dockter, Joseph Tarvin, Joan (James) Berglund; grandchildren, Michael, Joseph and Bryan Ingebrand, Christopher (Lindsey), Jason (Aubreanne) and Justin (Kim) Dockter, Peter and Sarah Tarvin, Emily and Laura Berglund, Carissa (John) Veit; great-grandchildren, Theja and Lanah Ingebrand, Addison, Autumn, Mykayla, Tristin and Anna Dockter. Many nieces, nephews, relatives and friends also survive.