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Ralph William 9/10/18 - 1/21/14
BGSU Professor Emeritus, Ralph W. Frank, 95. He was born on September 10, 1918, to Mary Laverne (Huffman) and William David Frank in Massillon, Ohio. He taught for over 50 years. Ralph was a survivor of the Great Depression and worked his way through high school and college by playing big band jazz. He played the saxophone and clarinet and considered becoming a musician, until he realized the limits of his talent. He went from teaching grade and high school to college classes. He attained a Master's degree in Geography from Kent State University in 1947, and a Ph.D. from Northwestern University in 1952. His regions of expertise were Japan and Ohio. He was known for playing works by Ohio composers to his students on the last day of class. He loved teaching and always said that his students kept him young. One of his favorite songs was Hoagie Carmichael's "Stardust."
He worked at an arms factory to support the war effort during WWII and was warned to slow down by a union representative so that he would not make others look bad. As a result, his work area shone with cleanliness. In his younger years, Ralph served his community on the Board, and as Chairman, of the Wood County Chapter of the Red Cross. Ralph was full of stories, loved nothing more than hosting a party, had George Burns' sense of humor, and was christened the "Angel of Bowling Green" by his Polish sisters-in-law. He adored his brother's children, loved giving flowers, mixed a mean martini, and was a truegentleman.
He was preceded in death by his parents; his first wife, Willa (Wilhelmena Elizabeth Smith), and his brother, Raymond David Frank. His family is very grateful for the wonderful care he received at Heritage Corner's Memory Care Unit.
He is survived by his wife, Stefania (Engelhardt) Frank; his sister-in-law, Frances Frank of Pittsburgh, PA; his nephews, Carl Frank of Indian Hills, CO and William Frank of Pittsburgh, PA; his niece, Nancy Palumbo of Naples, FL, and his stepdaughters, Margaret (Wieczorek) Reynard of Upper Darby, PA and Katherine Wieczorek of Norwalk, OH.
A short memorial service will be held on Saturday, February 1, 2014 at 10:30 a.m. at Dunn Funeral Home, 408 West Wooster St., Bowling Green, Ohio. In lieu of flowers, friends are asked to donate to the American Red Cross, Doctors Without Borders, or the Alzheimer's Foundation.
Private interment was held in Oak Gove Cemetery. Condolences may be sent to the family at:
Dunn Funeral Home
408 W. Wooster St.
Bowling Green, OH 43402
Published in Toledo Blade on Jan. 24, 2014