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Ralph Schuling, 81, passed away January 12, 2014 and is now with his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Ralph was born on July 4, 1932, in Des Moines, Iowa, to Charles and Marie Schuling. He graduated from East High School, in Des Moines, where he met the love of his life and beautiful bride of over 61 years, Mary Anne Crawford. After marrying, Ralph served his country in the U.S. Air Force during the Korean War. After the war, the couple then returned to Des Moines where Ralph joined his father in the operation of Schuling Conveyor and Hitch Company in Des Moines, and later expanded to operations in Council Bluffs and Ames Iowa. Ralph shared his father's entrepreneurial spirit and engineering mind, always looking for ways to improve and invent, taking advantage of the growing importance of the automobile in work and recreational applications. 2014 marks the 75th anniversary of the founding of Schuling Hitch Company.
Ralph loved to serve his Lord and was active in his church, leading youth and college-age programs, serving as both an elder and deacon, and singing in the choir. The focus of church and family was a guiding light in Ralph's life and his church friendships endured throughout his life.
Ralph and Mary Anne traveled extensively, eventually settling in Oceanside, CA each year during the winter months for the past 28 years. He enjoyed the thrill of adventure, meeting new friends, and being surrounded by his growing family. He was a wonderful role model and welcomed his children's spouses with open arms. About six years ago, Ralph was diagnosed with Lewy Body Dementia, a degenerative disease, which ultimately took his life. Although his mobility became severely restricted, Ralph retained his kind, loving and witty demeanor. The many loving memories of all of our days with Ralph will always remain strong.
He leaves behind his wife Mary Anne, and four children: Mike (Brenda) Schuling of Ankeny, Cindy Schuling of Huxley, Doug (Melanie) Schuling of Encinitas, CA, and Julie (Steve) Houge of Polk City; and, sister Sharon Orlins of Muscatine, IA. He is also survived by nine grandchildren: Noel (Tyler) Smith, Tyler (Sarah) Schuling, Lindsay (Mike) Cooper, Chelsea Fausch, Cody Fausch, Marissa Schuling, Allegra Schuling, Wyatt Houge and Garrett Houge, and four great-grandchildren and one on the way, as well as many other family members and friends who loved him.
Ralph was predeceased by his parents, Charles Schuling and Marie Vandal and his step-mother Blanche Schuling, sisters Virginia Anderson Tesdell and Alene (Al) Koontz, and brother Richard (Dorraine) Schuling.
The family wishes to thank the many caregivers that assisted in making Ralph's life so very fulfilling to the end, namely Heartland Adult Day Center and Green Hills Health Care Center, both of Ames, IA.
Visitation will be Thursday, January 16, 2014 at Bethany Reformed Church at 720 NE 52nd Ave., Des Moines, from 5 to 8 PM. His memorial service will be held at Bethany Reformed Church, on Friday, January 17, at 10AM with burial following at Highland Memory Gardens.
In lieu of flowers, the family asks that you consider a donation to Heartland Adult Day Center, 205 South Walnut Ave, Ames, IA. 50010.
Published in Des Moines Register from Jan. 14 to Jan. 16, 2014