SUPERIOR, Wisconsin — Ralph John (Rajich) Geiger of Harmony House – Superior, received the call of his Savior, Jesus Christ, on June 19, 2019 to enter into his eternal home.
Ralph was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, on Oct. 16, 1925. At the age of 17, he left high school and enlisted in the 1st Marine Corps Division; serving his country from 1942 (at the end of the Guadalcanal Campaign) – 1945 (at the end of the Okinawa Campaign). He stayed and fought with his division as a PFC in the Pacific Theater; specifically in the campaigns: Guadalcanal; Cape Gloucester, New Britain; New Guinea; Peleliu (Island of Paulau) and Okinawa. He was seriously wounded on Okinawa. He was awarded four bronze campaign stars, two presidential unit citation awards, a Marine combat medal, and the Purple Heart. Ralph had hoped to have a military career, but because of his injuries, he was unable to do so.
After the war, Ralph went to work for Plankington Packing Company (later the business became Swift Independent Meat Company) in Milwaukee and for the next 37 years worked his way through the ranks from laborer to assistant plant manager.
While working, he took classes at Marquette University and Northwestern University to better his management skills. In that time, the company changed hands and Ralph’s position was transferred to northern Illinois and finally Brownwood, Texas, where he retired in 1983. In his later years, he received an honorary high school diploma from Marquette High School in Milwaukee due to his service in the Marine Corps at such a young age.
His most challenging times in life were fighting for his country and losing his 23-year-old daughter, Susie in 1980. He was most blessed in having Lois as his wife of 70+ years, raising three children, and being connected to his Catholic faith tradition.
His sister, Carol, Grandma Alvadj and spiritual mentor, Father Bernard, were some of the most influential people that guided his life. He also held a deep love for the people of Australia and was grateful for their support of the Marines during World War II. The brotherhood of the Marine Corps taught him commitment and a deep sense of family. Ralph was a life-member of the Marine Corp Association and the 1st Marine Corps Division.
Other memberships included: National Rifle Association, U.S. Naval Institute, Disabled American Veterans, Purple Heart Association, and the American Legion.
Ralph was preceded in death by two daughters, Doreen and Susie, as well as his parents.
He is survived by his wife, Lois; daughter, Dianne (Larry); son, Guy (Pam); and grandchildren, Molly and Matthew.
A special thank you to staff at Harmony House and Essentia Health – St. Mary’s Hospital-Superior, for their outstanding care and compassion. We hold you close in our hearts and will never forget the love you showed Ralph.
Visitation will begin at 10 a.m. on Monday, June 24 at Holy Assumption Catholic Church, 5601 Tower Avenue, Superior, and will continue until the 11 a.m. Memorial Mass of Christian Burial. Rev. Fr. Ron Olson and Rev. Fr. Thomas Foster will concelebrate the Mass.
The Downs-LeSage Funeral Home, 1304 Hammond Avenue, Superior, is assisting the family with arrangements. To leave a condolence or sign the guestbook, please visit www.downs-lesage.com.