Ralph George French, 79, of Belle Plaine passed away peacefully with his daughters by his side on January 31, 2020.
Funeral service will be Saturday, March 7 at 11 a.m. at St. John Lutheran Church in Belle Plaine with visitation one hour prior. Burial will be at a later date.
Ralph was born December 31, 1940, the oldest of three children to Lillie and George (Bud) French of Blakeley. Ralph went to school in Blakeley and then switched to Belle Plaine Schools.
He served in the United States Air Force.
Ralph married Sally Ann Trimbo on May 28, 1959 They made a home in Blakeley and had daughter, Janelle, and then made a home in Apple Valley and had daughter, Jodi. In 1971 they moved back to Belle Plaine and raised their family.
Ralph worked as a maintenance man in Federal Stamping and then Temple Inland while owning French’s Shoes and Repair where he did shoe repair. Ralph also volunteered with the Belle Plaine Ambulance services for many years.
Throughout the years they enjoyed many weekends at their trailer at Cokato Lake Campground. Also, after retiring they enjoyed living in Yuma, Arizona.
Ralph moved from Arizona and back to Belle Plaine in 2018 after the loss of his wife Sally (2017) so he could be closer to family.
Ralph enjoyed spending time with family, playing cards, and working at the Food Shelf.
He was strong in his faith at St. John Lutheran Church and was a member of the American Legion.
Ralph is survived by his daughters, Janelle (Steve) Pittelkow of Andover and their daughters, Savannah (Devin) Hickle of Andover and Erin (Colin) Nelson of Waterville; and Jodi (Robert) Savage of Belle Plaine and their sons, Bradley Christiansen of Belle Plaine and Tory Christiansen of Waterville; brother, David (Darlene) French of Jordan; and sister, Nancy (Bill) Robb-Metler of Kasota; many nieces and nephews.
He is preceded in death by his wife, Sally; parents, Bud and Lillie French; and son-on-law, Shawn Nelson.