Ralph L. Cutting, 88, of Byron, passed away at his home Friday, Dec. 19, 2013.
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Ralph was born April 29, 1925, in Kalmar Township, Olmsted County, to Fred and Mary Inez (King) Cutting. In 1943, he graduated from Byron High School where he was quarterback of the first football team. In 1946, he enlisted in the U.S. Army and served in the Signal Corp in Italy during World War II. After being discharged, he attended the University of Minnesota to study horticulture. He married his high school sweetheart, Marjorie Fuchs in 1947. They were married 45 years until Marjorie's death in 1992. Ralph then married Nelva Loughrey a lifelong friend; they were married 16 years until Nelva's death in 2010. For 10 years, he worked for his father at Cutting's Nursery in Byron. In 1953, he bought the nursery from his father and operated it for 25 years. Ralph worked for 17 years as a custodian for the Byron Elementary School and eventually became head custodian.
Ralph was a very active member of Byron United Methodist Church. He served as lay leader, Sunday school superintendent, Sunday school teacher, chairman of the Administrative Board, a member of the Council on Ministries, a trustee and was on many other committees. He served on the United Methodist South East District Board of Ordained Ministry. He served on the Byron School Board for six years. He was a 60-year member of Zumbro Valley Grange in Byron and had been a member of the Minnesota State Grange Executive Committee. Ralph belonged to Sumner R. Hair American Legion Post, Byron Area Historical Society and Mantorville Senior Citizens.
Ralph is survived by his four children, Deanna (Bill) Stinemates of Waupaca, Wis., David (Rita) of Easton, Pa., Patricia Cutting of Byron and John (Karen) of Byron; 12 grandchildren, Crystal Stinemates, Karen (Mike) Black, Daniel (Rachel) Stinemates, David Stinemates (Karen Peterson), Greg Cutting, Kim (Kevin) Atkinson, Kent Cutting, Tara Mulliner (Sam Nestrud), Erin Cutting, Jessica (Adam) Falk, Kelly Cutting (Dana Stenzel) and Jared Cutting; three great-grandchildren, Calvin Stinemates, Josephina Cutting and Dawson Black.
He was preceded in death by his parents, his two wives, two brothers, the Rev. Edwin Cutting and Clyde who was killed in the Philippines during World War II.
Ralph always had a smile for anyone and a warm handshake or hug. He was a historian of Byron's past. He loved sharing stories of his past, his family and his life experiences. Most of all, he loved his family.
Funeral services will be held at 2 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 28, at Byron United Methodist Church (511 1st Ave. N.W.), with the Rev. David Mead officiating.
Visitation will be from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. Friday, Dec. 27, at the church, and one hour before the service at the church. Burial will be in the Byron cemetery.
Ranfranz and Vine Funeral Homes, 5421 Royal Place N.W., Rochester, MN, 55901, 507-289-3600, ranfranzandvinefh.com.
Published in The Post-Bulletin on Dec. 24, 2013