Dr. Ralph Emerson Inabnit
March 14, 1944 - Dec. 11, 2020
GRANGER, IN -
Dr. Ralph Inabnit Jr., 76, passed away on December 11, 2020. He was born on March 14, 1944 to Ralph Inabnit Sr. and Thelma Christine Lively of Brownsburg both of whom preceded him in death.
He is survived by his wife, Beth (Katona) Inabnit of Granger, IN. They were married on June 22, 2012. He is also survived by two children, Brent (Lisa) Inabnit of Granger, IN and Melinda (James) Higginson of Osceola; grandchildren, Katelyn (Steven) Bell, Hannah Inabnit, Grace Inabnit, Lizbeth Jansen, Alex and Nathan Ehmer; two great-grandchildren, Lucy and Annie Bell; stepchildren, Angela and Kenny Katona of Crown Point, IN and their four children, Jillian, Benjamin, Gabrielle and Noah; siblings, Bill (Nina) Inabnit of Avon, IN, John (Carol) Inabnit of Brownsburg, IN, and JoAnn (Bob) ONeal of Illinois; and half sisters, Betty Scott and Wanda Branch of Florida.
Dr. Inabnit attended Andrews University and graduated in 1970. He worked as a pharmaceutical representative and started a construction company (Village Contractors) with his good friend, Bob Loudin. He went on to the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine and graduated in 1982. He was the first Osteopathic doctor ever to serve as a resident at Memorial Hospital.
Dr. Inabnit was a true icon. He served as a family physician and as the “town doc” for more than 30 years in New Carlisle, IN. He was recently described as a “true country doctor.” He began his day in the early hours of the morning and worked well into the evenings administering love and care to his patients. He would never, ever turn a patient away, and if a patient was unable to drive to his clinic, he would drive to their home to make a house call. Every summer, Dr. Inabnit was excited to host his annual New Carlisle Picnic. He invited every patient to come and enjoy Nelson's chicken, listen to music, win raffle prizes, and enjoy fellowship. He was a true “entertainer” and loved to energetically talk to his patients on the microphone at this particular event. He was the true model of a dedicated servant to his clinic and he valued hard work.
He served as the team doctor for the New Prairie Football team for many years and could often be seen on the sidelines running up and down the field, yelling and cheering for the players. In his later years, Dr. Inabnit served as a physician for the South Bend Clinic. During that time period, he was also a medical director at various nursing homes in St. Joseph County. Dr. Inabnit also spent his time building and developing long term care facilities. Dr. Inabnit treated and saved thousands of patients during his career.
He was known by his family and friends as Dr. I or simply “Doc.” Doc was a truly dynamic person. He loved to dance and had many of his own made up ballroom dance moves. It was very hard to drag him off the dance floor. He also loved spending time with friends and family. He often took his children and grandchildren on energetic shopping sprees and enjoyed having “tea and crumpets'' during these great trips. Doc was also very animated. He created his own special sayings which we will always remember: “What caused it?,” “We are writing historical chapters,” and “I love you like a brother.”
He loved being on the water and spent a great deal of time in Cabo San Lucas sailing, driving around in his Jeep, and eating fish at his favorite restaurants. He also loved collecting old fashioned cars, watching Notre Dame football, “diagnosing” and “treating” his pool every summer, powdering his rose bushes, working out at the gym, eating at his favorite local restaurants and going to the movies. Anyone who spent time with Doc knows how much he loved telling stories about his life in great detail and with great animation. He also loved singing the song, “My Way” by Frank Sinatra.
Perhaps one of Dr. Inabnit's greatest qualities was his generosity. Dr. Inabnit gave unselfishly to his family, friends, patients, and even those he did not know. The New Prairie Cougars Touchdown Club recently posted that many people were not aware that Dr. Inabnit sponsored the end of the year football banquet and purchased ankle braces for all of the players for many, many years. During the holidays, it was not uncommon to observe Dr. Inabnit giving out gift cards, meals, coats, and clothing to his patients at the clinic. When a close friend was in need, Dr. Inabnit was always there to help. When it came to supporting his children and grandchildren, his love knew no boundaries. We all received bountiful gifts throughout the years but our time spent with him during many family occasions was invaluable. He loved the holidays and enjoyed carving our Christmas turkey every year.
Due to current public health and safety standards for COVID-19, a small service with immediate family and close friends will be held on Thursday, December 17 at 12:00 p.m. A private burial will follow at Saint Joseph Valley Memorial Park. McGann Hay Granger Chapel, 13260 SR 23, entrance off Cherry Rd., will be handling all of the arrangements.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to St. Margaret's House, 117 N. Lafayette Blvd., South Bend, IN 46601.
A zoom service will be provided for those unable to attend.
To send private condolences and receive zoom meeting information please visit www.McGannHay.com