Ralph E. Wakeman, age 90, passed away Thursday, Oct. 11, 2012, at the Ashtabula County Medical Center.
Born Oct. 1, 1922, in Ashtabula, Ohio, he was the son of Leonard and Erma (Bahr) Wakeman and lived most of his life in the family home where he grew up. A 1940 graduate of Ashtabula High School, Ralph earned his BS in Education from the Ohio State University in 1951 and later received his Master’s of Science in Education from the University of Pennsylvania in 1962. He also took post graduate classes in Science at Edinboro University, Macon Wesleyan College and Nebraska Wesleyan College.
A Veteran of the U.S. Army, he served during World War II from 1943 to 1946; where he served as a radio repairman. During his tour of duty, he achieved the rank of staff sergeant and was awarded the following decorations: American Theater Ribbon, European-African-Middle Eastern Ribbon, Good Conduct Medal and the Victory Medal.
Ralph taught at Parma High School from 1951-1985. During his tenure, he taught many different courses including chemistry, physics, earth science, applied electricity, and a seminar for exceptional students.
Mr. Wakeman received his amateur radio license in 1940 and was an active HAM radio operator with the call sign W8UMA. He was a member of the ARRL (Amateur Radio Relay League), OSU Radio Club W8LT, life member of the Ohio Retired Teachers Association, and Epsilon Pi Tau (an Industrial Arts Professional Fraternity).
In his earlier years, Ralph enjoyed dance roller skating with his sister, Wilma, and riding his motorcycle. He was an avid fisherman, and also enjoyed camping with his nephew, Jim. A man with a passion for traveling all over the country with his family and friends, he had visited all 50 states and most Canadian provinces. But most of all, he loved teaching and surprising the kids with his experiments.
His survivors include his nieces and nephews, James (Rosario) Alpine, Patricia (Tony “Dutch”) Gevelaar, Shirley (Doyle) Braun, Charlene (Carl) Saurman, Carla Gamble, Virginia (Richard) Braun and Cindi Metcalf; and several great-nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his sisters and their husbands, Louise (Charles) Alpine, Wilma (William) Metcalf and Alice (Eugene) Cutler; his niece, Lorraine Bateman; nephew, Richard Williams; and his parents.
Funeral Services will be held 10:30 a.m. on Monday, Oct. 22nd, at ZABACK-WILLIAMS-DUCRO FUNERAL HOME, 500 W. Prospect Road, Ashtabula, with the Rev. Michael Meranda, Pastor of Messiah Lutheran Church, officiating. Burial will follow at 2:30 p.m. at the Ohio Western Reserve National Cemetery, Rittman, Ohio.
Friends may call at the Funeral Home on Monday from 9:30 a.m. until the time of service at 10:30 a.m.
The family requests that any donations be made to the Parma City Schools Foundation, 5311 Longwood Drive, Parma, Ohio 44134, or the Veterans Service Commission, Disabled American Veterans, Chapter 39, in care of Daniel Dorsten, 1212 Lake Ave., Ashtabula, Ohio 44004, in Ralph's name.
Obituary and condolences at www.ducro.com and starbeacon.com.