WOOSTER Ralph Edgar Kane was born July 16, 1921 in Akron, moved to Wooster in 1947, where he died on July 26, 2015 at the age of 94. He married Alice (nee Zantow), of Leola, South Dakota, on July 2, 1945. They had a son, Paul Anton, in 1953 and a daughter, Elisabeth (Lisa) Ann in 1955.
Ralph graduated from Akron s Garfield High School on June 14, 1939, and spent seven years with B.F. Goodrich s export billing department, including three years in the Army, where, as 386th Infantry s Classification Sergeant, he met Clyde M. Lefty Miller, who invited him to join First Federal Savings & Loan Association of Wooster after World War II. His service time also included three months with the 44th Infantry Division and ten months with the Army Specialized Training Program at South Dakota State University in Brookings, where he met Alice. He also wrote the Army column for The Collegian for nine months as well as Evening School news and features for the University of Akron s Buchtellite before being drafted.
His parents were Albert Anton Koehn, owner of Akron s City Roofing and Sheet Metal Company, and Ida (Golz) Koehn, both of whom predeceased him, as did his brothers Arthur and Harold, his sister, Lillian (William) Riley, and several nieces and nephews. He is survived by other nieces, nephews, first, second and third cousins, et al.
While still in Akron, Ralph was a 10 year Eagle Boy Scout and assistant scoutmaster with troop #38, and a member of Akron s Junior Toastmaster s Club.
In Wooster, Ralph was active in church and community, having been Endowment Treasurer and Church Council member of Zion Lutheran for 40 years. He retired from First Federal Savings and Loan as its Finance Vice President, Public Relations and Marketing Advertising Manager in 1983. A past President of 20-30 Club, he was also President Emeritus of Wooster Kiwanis, a thirteen year Trustee and President of Wooster Cemetery Association, past President Emeritus of the Century Club, Heat Director of the Wayne-Holmes Soap Box Derby during its first five years, Finance Chairman of Wooster Sesquicentennial, spent five years as Treasurer of Wayne County s Cancer Society, and two years as Treasurer of the Wooster Fellowship of Churches. He was also a member of the Ohio Chapter of the American Legion.
As Wooster Councilman-at-Large for two terms he was chairman of the public property committee, responsible for the present Municipal Building and two fire stations, plus acquisition of two large park areas and three blocks of downtown parking. He was a national committeeman of the American Savings & Loan Institution, the National Comptrollers Society and the Savings & Loan Marketing Society of America. As such, he attended national meetings and seminars in Cincinnati, Columbus, Cleveland, Chicago, St. Louis, Denver, Boston, New York City and Philadelphia. As a public speaker Ralph also MC-ed several area-wide joint service club meetings.
Maintaining several of his Akron Contacts, he was principal speaker of his Garfield 25th and 60th class reunions, as well as speaker for the 50th reunion of his 1935 class from Firestone Park Grade School, for which he edited and published a bulletin for ten years.
A prolific writer, over 300 of his poems have been published in Wooster s Daily Record, a dozen volumes of World of Poetry , several in Ohio s Poetry Day annals, and the title poem in Wooster s tribute to the Ohio Agriculture & Experimental Station in Wooster on the occasion of its 75th anniversary. One of his four plays has been performed by at least three church groups across the country. He also wrote a history of 24 of Akron s early German/Lutheran families to whom he is related, a short history of Akron, one pamphlet about airships (all now at Summit County Library), one about Wooster s Community Hospital, one about the 386th U.P.S., and one about the 97th Infantry Division.
He cannot talk or write his way out of the fact that his cremains, interspersed with those of Alice, are deposited in the family plot at Wooster Cemetery in the Garden of the Cross portion in an area developed under his 13 years as Trustee of that association. Therefore, as with all men, he will forever lie in the bed which he made, no longer able to correct any errors or exaggerations in his obituary.
A Celebration of Life Service honoring the lives of Ralph, Alice and Paul Anton will be held on Saturday, September 19, 2015 at 2:00 p.m. at the Zion Lutheran Church, 301 N. Market St., Wooster with the Rev. Ann Paynter officiating.
Thanks to the members of an eternal rest society, McIntire, Bradham & Sleek Funeral Home, 216 E. Larwill Street, Wooster, and Pastor Ann Paynter of Zion Lutheran Church.
Online condolences may be left for the family at www.mcintirebradhamsleek.com.
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A memorial service will be held on Saturday, September 19, 2015 at 2:00 p.m. at the Zion Lutheran Church, 301 N. Market St., Wooster
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