Ralph V. Smith, passed away peacefully, surrounded by his family on November 18, 2020 at the age of 86. Ralph was born to Louis and Edna Smith on February 14, 1934 and was the sixth of 13 children. He was preceded in death by his parents; sister, Beverly; brothers, Art, Clifford, Wayne and Roger and son-in-law Rob Moyer. Ralph is survived by sisters; Lorreta Randall of Kansas City, MO; Lois (and Bob) Stallsworth of Richmond, VA; Lola Johanson of Albert Lea, MN and Fern Giles of Kansas City, MO; and brothers; Raymond (and Sharon) Smith of Blaine, MN; Johnny Smith of Waterloo, IA; and Rodney Smith of Blaine, MN.
Ralph graduated from Albert Lea High School in 1952. He married Sharron Miller in 1957 and they had 4 children together. Ralph enlisted in the US Army, spending time in San Antonio, TX. Upon discharge, he enrolled at Mankato State Teachers College where he graduated in 1961. He received his Masters in Education degree from Winona State in 1965. He spent one-year teaching high school history and coaching baseball in Canton, MN. He then moved his young family to Stewartville in 1963 and would spend the next 30 years there teaching Social Studies and serving as Head Baseball Coach. He truly loved working with kids in the classroom as well as on the baseball diamond. Stewartville was always home, and he bled maroon and gold for his Tigers.
Ralph was an avid sports fan for the Minnesota Gophers, Vikings, Twins and Timberwolves. However, Grandpa Smitty was the SUPER FAN for his grandchildren’s sporting events and was active in all their lives. It was not uncommon for him to share their recent accomplishments with anyone who showed interest, even strangers in grocery stores! He was proud of each and every one of them.
Ralph loved to hunt and fish with his fellow teaching buddies and their children as they joined the group. He looked forward to the opening of deer hunting season where he could “hold court” preparing dinner for the entire hunting party.
Ralph’s greatest joy was his family. One of his highest accomplishments was raising his four children as a single parent after he and Sharron were divorced. He adored his children, grandchildren and great grandchildren. He is survived by his children; Jodi Carr of Palo Alto, CA; Gregg (Melanie) Smith of Wayzata, MN; Carri Moyer of Menomonie, WI; and Shelly Paulson of Rochester, MN and his grandchildren; Brandon (Amanda) Smith, Jordan (Brenna) Smith, Nicole Smith, Nick (Jen) Moyer, Cassandra (Matt) Williams, Dustin Paulson, Mackenzie Paulson and his great grandchildren; Avery and Louis Smith, Jaxon Smith, Logan and Zach Moyer, Harrison and Lincoln Williams, and Elly Paulson.
Ralph’s family would like to extend sincere thanks to the wonderful staff at Lake Minnetonka Presbyterian Homes. They provided wonderful care for him this past year.
A celebration of life was held on Saturday, November 21, 2020. Memorials are preferred to a program that Ralph nurtured for 30 years. The Stewartville Baseball Program: 440 6th Avenue SW, Stewartville, MN 55976.
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