Ralph Frederick Baumbach of Stoughton, passed away on June 21, 2022 at the age of 96. Born on March 13, 1926, he was the youngest of Earl and Clara (Rembold) Baumbach’s three children. Ralph grew up in rural Oil City, Pennsylvania and graduated from Capital University in Columbus, Ohio with a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1946. With parish ministry as his goal, he then attended the adjacent Lutheran Seminary, receiving The Master of Divinity degree and ordination into the Lutheran ministry in June of 1950.
A week later he married Wilma Koengeter from Ann Arbor, Michigan who he met two years prior through the College Acapella Choir. They shared 70 memorable years together enjoying special family time on northern Wisconsin lakes with their four children, music, many friendships, and constant reading and continuing education. They were blessed with 8 grandchildren and 7 great-grandchildren.
Ralph and Wilma’s interest in travel and archeology led them to plan and host tours to Israel, Jordan, Egypt, Turkey, Greece, China and experience other globe trotting cultural experiences.
Ralph pastored congregations in Imlay City and Saginaw, Michigan, and founded a mission in Waukesha, Wisconsin. In 1972 he accepted a position with the American Lutheran Church district office in Janesville, Wisconsin, helping churches throughout southern Wisconsin with outreach and youth ministries.
Ralph retired in 1989 after serving 13 years at Covenant Lutheran in Stoughton. That same year Ralph and Wilma were King and Queen of Syttende Mai.
Community service was Ralph’s passion, and he had a deep interest in learning about the lives of everyone he came in contact with. He was the founder of Stoughton’s Seniors in Need program, and served in volunteer leadership roles at Stoughton Hospital, the Stoughton Police and Fire Commission, Skaalen Home and Retirement Services, Project Equality Wisconsin, Inc., Dane County Commission on Aging and the Stoughton Chamber of Human Services.
He was honored as “Citizen of the Year” by the Shillelagh Foundation, Trustee of the Year by the Wisconsin Hospital Association and Rotary International’s “Paul Harris Fellow.”
Ralph is survived by children Rebecca Baumbach, Jennifer Engel (Tom), Melanie Wiseman (Dan), and Daniel Baumbach (Linda), and grandchildren Nathan, Aaron, Gretchen, Ingrid, Melissa, Luke, Lane and Trent.
Visitations will be held Friday, July 8, 2022 from 5:30 - 7:00 p.m. at Covenant Lutheran Church in Stoughton, and 10:00 am Saturday, July 9, 2022, prior to the celebration of life service at 11:00 a.m. A luncheon will follow.
Memorial donations can be made to the Stoughton Senior Center-Seniors in Need Program or the Stoughton Opera House Friends Association.
Please share your memories of Ralph by posting on his Tribute Wall.
Cress Funeral Service
206 W. Prospect Street, PO Box 231, Stoughton