Skarda, Ralph A.
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Ralph Anton Skarda age 88, son of the late Anton "Tony" and Anna (Holtz) Skarda, died Tuesday, January 29, 2013 at St. Mary's at Felician Village. He was born June 6, 1924 in Manitowoc and graduated from Lincoln High School with the class of 1942. During the next three months Ralph worked for the Manitowoc Shipbuilder Company on the WWII Submarines. He spent time at the Old Vocational School attending the University of Wisconsin Extension Division. The entire class consisted of 12 students. On December 7, 1942 President Roosevelt notified all to report for active duty in the U.S. Armed Forces.
Ralph served the country in WWII from December, 1942 to September, 1946. He was a radio operator on a B-24, and their airfield was in Bungay England. He belonged to the 446th Bomber group, 2nd Air Division. Ralph made many bombing missions over Europe, one time the crew made a forced landing in Paris and spent five days there while listed as missing in action.
In September of 1946, Ralph was honorably discharged from service and returned to the University of Wisconsin in Madison. He received a B.B.A degree and a Major in Accounting. Ralph married the girl of his dreams, Susan Kemper Eckels, daughter of Stanley and Blanche (Schuette) Eckels on April 5, 1952. The couple celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary last April. Ralph's first job out of college was an auditor for the Wisconsin Dept. of Taxation. He then moved to Manitowoc where he worked for the Erdman Ford Auto Company. He was very active with the Manitowoc Jaycees as Treasurer as well as Past President of Family Service Association. Ralph is a 50 year member of: Manitowoc Lions Club; Otto-Oas VFW Post #659 of Manitowoc, Drews-Bleser American Legion Post #88 of Manitowoc; a member of the Manitowoc Elks Lodge #687 and The Wisconsin Alumni Association. He was also a member of the First Presbyterian Church in Manitowoc, serving as past Elder and past Deacon. In 1960 Ralph and Joe Sepnafski built the Meadow Lanes West bowling center using the Huebner building at 39th and Meadow Lane. It was opened in September with 18 lanes with Brunswick automatic pinsetters. Ralph and partner Joe Sepnafski purchased Lincoln Fields Golf Course in the fall of 1972. The course was renamed Meadow Links and expanded to 18 holes. The expansion was completed in June of 1977. They built Meadow Lanes North on the site. The original Bowling Center was 12 lanes and opened in 1974. 12 lanes were added for the 1976 bowling season and a restaurant was also built on the property during this time. It is the current location of the Galley Restaurant. The entire complex was sold in July of 1992. Meadow Lanes West was sold in 1994 and after 34 years Ralph retired. He enjoyed many friendships he made with all the bowling, golfing and restaurant patrons during his lifetime. Ralph was inducted into the Manitowoc Bowling Hall of Fame and received the Achievement Award from the Lakeshore All Sports Hall of Fame.
He is survived by his wife: Susan Skarda, Manitowoc; his five children, Catherine (David) Conant and their children: Taylor; Catie; Kellie; and Emily, Newport Beach, CA; Stanley (Lizzie Locke) Skarda; Odessa, Florida; Steve (Faith) Skarda, Manitowoc and their children; Travis Skarda, Newport Beach CA, Sara (Derek) Wagner, Parrish, FL; Amy (Oscar) Swanson and their children Turner and Logan of Manitowoc; Nancy (Spencer) Smith and their children Trenton and Mason of Eagan, MN; one great grandson: Grant Thomas Wagner; nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends also survive. Ralph was preceded in death by his parents Anton and Anna Skarda, one brother: Norman "Bud" Skarda, and two sisters: Carol Berrigan, Janet Pries.
Memorial Services will be held at 6:00 p.m. Monday, February 4, 2013 at the First Presbyterian Church, 502 North 8th Street, Manitowoc. The Rev. Dr. Matthew L. Sauer will officiate. Burial of his cremated remains will take place at Evergreen Cemetery. Relatives and friends may call at the church on Monday from 3:00 p.m. until the time of service at 6:00 p.m. The Reinbold & Pfeffer Family Funeral Home of Manitowoc is assisting the Skarda family with arrangements. Online condolences may be expressed at www.jensreinboldandpfeffer.com
The family would like to thank the nurses and staff of St. Mary's of Felician Village for the caring and compassionate care given to Ralph.
Reinbold & Pfeffer Family Funeral Home
818 State Street
Manitowoc, WI 54220
Published in Manitowoc Herald Times Reporter from Jan. 31 to Feb. 3, 2013