Madison-Ralph W. Donkle, 78, of Madison passed away December 2, 2008. He was born January 16, 1930. Ralph graduated from Madison East High School in 1949 where he met the love of his life, Ruth M. Bowes. He was a member of the US Air Force serving during the Korean War. Ralph founded Ralph W. Donkle & Sons Construction in 1973 and proudly passed the business on to his sons. As an Eagle Scout through and through, he lived his life by the Boy Scout motto of "Be Prepared." He valued sharing his love of nature with people of all ages. An avid hunter and golfer, he loved the outdoors but what Ralph cherished more than anything was his family. Some of his fondest memories included cheering at a swim meet, going to hockey games, watching a football game, seeing a shining star in a play, sharing his famous pancakes, calling in turkeys, building a fort, camping with the crew, running the dogs and enjoying a campfire. Ralph will forever be remembered for his selfless giving, unconditional love, honesty and his kind and generous heart. Ralph is survived by his loving wife of 56 years, Ruth, sons Kim (Sandy), Todd (Renae), Craig (Connie), Troy "Moose" (Wendy), daughter Jill (Jeffrey) Block, his eight favorite grandchildren, Kara, Kirsten, Anna, Jordan, Noah, Julia, Natalie and James, his sister Nancy (Richard) Veloff, and his travel companion, Cody his black lab. The family requests that in lieu of flowers, donations be made to the Carbone Center for breast or prostate cancer research, 600 Highland Avenue, K4/658 Madison, WI 53792 or to Oakwood Village, 6201 Mineral Point Road, Madison, WI 53705. The family will receive friends on Saturday, December 13, 2008 at CRESS FUNERAL HOME, 3610 Speedway Road, Madison for a celebration of his life from 11 AM to 1 PM, and a memorial service to follow at 1 PM.
Ralph was such a great teacher for hunting and a wonderful uncle to go camping with in Necedah. He will be greatly missed. Cody Veloff enjoyed golfing with Ralph. Brooke Veloff loved making donuts with him at the camp out. We regret not being able to get back to Wisconsin for the funeral as Cody Veloff had a Colorado Division of Wildlife youth duck hunt on the same day as the funeral. We are sure Ralph would rather have Cody Veloff go hunting and not miss an opportunity to learn more about hunting. We send our love to all the families, friends and relatives.
Hi Ruthie........Just wanted you to know our prayers are with you and the family. Ralph was one very very special person in our lives. He was very creative and did a beautiful job with the homes he built. Ralph was very instrumental in our lives and we will NEVER forget it. We are hear for you and want you to know that we have been thinking about you each and every day. Please let us know if you need anything. We are here for you and the family. Love, Ann, Dan and Bart Davidson
Ruth and family: Please accept my sincerest condolences on the loss of your husband and Dad. Over the 40+ years that my family has known him, Ralph's caring, honesty, and kindness are the things that I'll remember as qualities that defined him both personally and professionally. I cannot thank him enough for the compassion and service he provided during my Dad's own health struggles, as well as always looking out for my Mom after Dad passed away. He was truly an example of how to "love thy neighbor as thyself" and is someone whose prescence on earth has made it a better place. He will be missed by many, but his spirit will live on within each of us who knew him.
Ruth and Nancy, Please accept my sincere sympathy on the loss of your dear husband and brother. The Donkle's backyard and ours met when I grew up on Ludington and your home was on Atwood. Although Ralph was a teenager when I was born, I have fond memories of Pat and Earl as well as both Ralph and Nancy. Thank you for sharing so much of who Ralph became in the obituary. What a special person! and I'm sure he will be missed by his loving family. Judy (Maginnis) Kuster
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