Pastor Ralph Carl Waack was received into the loving arms of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ with his family by his side on May 6, 2021 at the age of 76. Ralph was born September 25, 1944, in Manitowoc where he grew up in Newtonburg and attended St. John's Lutheran School and Church. He was baptized into God's family the day of his birth and a re-affirmation of his baptism occurred on October 7, 1944. His confirmation promises were made in May of 1958. He graduated from Manitowoc Lutheran High School in 1962, then graduated from Northwestern Lutheran College in Watertown in 1967. Ralph was joined in marriage to Carole Niemann at Bethany Lutheran Church in Manitowoc on August 31, 1968. Ralph served as a vicar at St. John's Lutheran Church in Baraboo. In 1971, he received a Bachelor of Divinity Degree from Wisconsin Lutheran Seminary in Mequon. Ralph's assigned call was to a mission congregation, Redeemer Lutheran, in Huntsville, AL where he was ordained as a Pastor on July 11, 1971. While there, he was instrumental in the construction of their new church. In addition to faithfully serving at Redeemer Lutheran, he flew monthly to serve at a mission congregation in Memphis, TN. Ralph was also the Circuit Pastor of the South Central Conference, the Gulf Atlantic District from 1975-1976.After serving there for five years, he received a call in 1976 to serve as Pastor at St. Paul Lutheran Church in Appleton, WI where he served for 34 years and retired in 2010. He enjoyed being the Lutheran Boy Pioneer National Chaplain from 1979-1981.Ralph had a genuine, big heart and always put others first. He thoroughly enjoyed working with the church staff and building friendships with the many church members. He loved being with his family, including his pets Snowflake, Max and Lacey. Ralph was an avid Packers fan. He loved reminiscing and telling humorous stories. Relaxation involved making homemade soups and grilling out. Each Summer, the family looked forward to going on many camping and cottage vacations. Ralph loved fishing up North with his close Pastor friends as well as being the camp cook on hunting trips to his brother's log cabin with family and his close friend, Paul. It was Ralph's prayer that his ministry was always a blessing to all that he served. Survivors include his loving wife, Carole; three children: Kelly (Ryan) Vanden Brook, Christopher Waack, and Lori Waack; three sisters-in-law: Peggy Waack, Eunice Waack and Nancie Kieweg; and many nieces, nephews and cousins. Ralph was preceded in death by his parents, Alfred and Lilly Waack; father-in-law and mother-in-law, Ken and Jean Niemann; one sister, Ethel Mae Gustafson; two brothers, Kenny and Merlin Waack; and two brothers-in-law, Harold Gustafson and Richard Kieweg. A celebration of Ralph's life will be held at St. John's Ev. Lutheran Church in Newtonburg on Monday, May 10, 2021 with visitation at 12:00 pm and the service at 1:30 pm. Rev.'s Robert Kujawski and Stephen Melso will officiate. Immediately following the service, interment will be at St. John's Lutheran Cemetery located at 7531 English Lake Rd, Manitowoc. Face masks are optional. The Reinbold & Pfeffer Family Funeral Home of Manitowoc is assisting the family with funeral arrangements. Online condolences may be expressed at www.lakeshorefamilyfuneralhomes.com A memorial fund has been established where a donation will be made to each of the following as they held a special place in Ralph's heart: St. John's Ev. Lutheran Church and School, Wisconsin Lutheran Seminary in Mequon, and Luther Prep in Watertown. A heartfelt thank you to the staff of River Woods Place Assisted Living and Sharon S. Richardson Community Hospice for their compassion and tender care of dad. A sincere thank you to all who reached out with cards and offered prayers.
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