Ralph Raymond Matzek, age 95, died on March 28, 2020 at his home in Maiden Rock, WI, after a brief illness. He was born to Edward and Gertrude (Kirchner) Matzek on September 22, 1924 in the Cherma area of River Falls Township. Ralph graduated from the 8th grade at Jerusalem Corners School and started farming with his father on the Collins’ Farm on County E. He met his bride, Maxine Collett, at the Ellsworth Dance Hall. They were married on August 20, 1946 at St. Francis Catholic Church in Ellsworth, WI. Ralph loved and lived to farm. Ralph’s love for farming led he and Maxine to purchase a farm near Grange Hall next to his in-laws, Willard and Alice Collett. Ralph served as Chairman of the Salem Town Board and the Ellsworth Farmers Union Board for many years. His hobbies included working on his farm, listening to big band music, kicking up his heels with Maxine at a Sat. night dance, teasing the grandkids and buying tractors of several colors, with the first and last being green.
Ralph was preceded in death by his parents, Edward and Gertrude Matzek, wife, Maxine; and sister, Verna Mae Carlson. Ralph is survived by his children, Douglas (Mary) Matzek of Maiden Rock, Nancy (Doug) Weiss of River Falls, and Robert (Lori) Matzek of Maiden Rock; grandchildren, Lisa (Chris) Iverson, Kelly (Ryan) Paul, Kristin (Ryan) Miller, Larissa (Brian) Fayerweather, Daniel (Sheena) Matzek, and Matthew (fiancé, Elizabeth Potter) Matzek; great-grandchildren, Alyssa and Isaac Iverson, Benjamin and Katherine Schroeder, Emma Miller, Aiden and Adalyn Fayerweather; siblings, Norman (Shirley) Matzek of Hudson and Marlys Meulemans of Ashland, OR; and sister-in-law, Lorna Herbaly of Denver, CO.
Due to the current health crisis, private graveside services will take place at St. John’s Catholic Cemetery in Plum City. A celebration of Ralph’s life will take place at a later date for family and friends. Pallbearers assisting with the services will be Ralph’s grandchildren. Honorary pallbearers will be Ralph’s great-grandchildren.
Funeral services are entrusted to the O’Connell-Benedict Family Funeral Home of Ellsworth (715) 273-4421. www.oconnellfuneralservices.com