Ralph H. Boelk


MENDOTA - Ralph H. Boelk, 93, of Mendota passed away peacefully Feb. 24, 2018 at his home surrounded by his family.

Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. on Saturday, March 3 at St. John’s Lutheran Church, Mendota with Rev. Jeff Chubb officiating. Burial will be at Restland Cemetery, Mendota with military rites by Mendota VFW Post 4079. Visitation will be from 3-7 p.m. on Friday, March 2 at the Merritt Funeral Home, Mendota.

Ralph was born Jan. 30, 1925 in South Wayne, Wis. to William and Maria (Krupke) Boelk. He married Mabel Randecker on Jan. 23, 1949 in Kent. She preceded him in death in 2008.

Survivors include three daughters, Pamela (Larry) Davies of Lacon, and Nancy (Jeff) Hochstatter and Lori (Matt) Etzbach, both of Mendota; three sons, Jeff Boelk, Randy Boelk and David (Jennifer) Boelk, all of Mendota; one sister, Ruth Vincent of Reynoldsburg, Ohio; five grandsons; 12 granddaughters; and 21 great-grandchildren.

He was preceded in death by his wife; one son, Dennis; three brothers, Harold, Leo and Frank; one sister, Hazel DeVoe; two grandsons, Matthew and Dennis Boelk; one granddaughter, Heather Hochstatter; and one daughter-in-law, Pamela (Deming) Boelk.

Ralph enlisted in the Marine Corps during World War II at the age of 17 and served in the Pacific from Sept. 9, 1942 until Oct. 23, 1945. He participated in action at Guadalcanal, Bougainville, Guam and Iwo Jima. After returning home, he married and started a trucking company. He joined the Marine Corp Reserve in Rockford and was called up on Aug. 21, 1950 to participate in the Korean Conflict before being discharged on Aug. 4, 1951. While serving, he was with the 1st Marine Division 1st Batallion 7th Regiment Weapons Company and participated in the Chosin Reservoir Campaign, losing a brother-in-law, Paul R. Reynolds of Pearl City. Upon discharge, he returned to his trucking company and eventually moved to Mendota. He worked for Rubin Brew Trucking in Ottawa until 1962 when he began R.H. Boelk Truck Lines. He worked there until his retirement when his sons, David and Randy took over. After retiring, he continued helping at the company office until shortly before his death. His joys in life were his family, the Marine Corp, fishing, playing cards and gardening - in that order. He was a lifetime member of Mendota VFW Post 4079 and St. John’s Lutheran Church.

Memorials may be directed to St. John’s Lutheran Church or Mendota VFW Post 4079.

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