Dr. Ralph Emerson Inabnit
1944 - 2020
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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.


To Plant Memorial Trees in memory, please visit our Sympathy Store.
Published in South Bend Tribune on Dec. 16, 2020.
MEMORIAL EVENTS
No memorial events are currently scheduled. To offer your sympathy during this difficult time, you can now have memorial trees planted in a National Forest in memory of your loved one.
Memories & Condolences
Guest Book sponsored by McGann Hay, Granger Chapel
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20 entries
January 5, 2021
Dear Brent, Lisa & family,
Condolences and blessings in Christ Jesus on your father's (in Law) passing. I enjoyed my conversations with Dr. Inabnit years ago and appreciated getting to know him even better in reading his obituary. Lisa's mother, Carol was a remarkable woman and Brent, your father, Ralph was a remarkable man.
Comfort, peace & joy in Christ Jesus be with you all.
Pete
Peter A. Richert
Friend
December 27, 2020
Doc , He was great help to me. I was one of his patients. I saw him quite often, for My diabetes and other health issues. He was a wonderful man. Always was there when you needed him. He loved his work . I’m going to him very much. As long with other I know. God knows he was blessed with knowing he was loved very much. All his work rewarded him in so many ways. I’m so sorry for his loved ones. He’s always in ur hearts and all your memories. Cherish everything. You are all in my prayers and thoughts. God be always with you all . New Carlisle patient and friend Deb Weisenberger
Debbie Weisenberger
Friend
December 22, 2020
He was there for me 30 years ago, no matter what others said. My surgeon did not believe the pain I was in and brushed me off. Ralph called him and said: "Listen here, she's not a fake, she's a poor working single mother that can't afford to be sick. Yes, she's had a lot of abdomen surgeries, which you know since you inherited her as a patient." Ralph told him in a few strong words while not letting the surgeon get a word in: "To prove it to you, I will assist you, with her surgery". Needless to say, I had a cyst the size of a basketball. Ralph told me the surgeon jump back when he saw it and said boy she's full of surprises, how did we miss this! Ralph stood up for me against his peers, because it was the right thing to do. "Ralph's Oath" I call it, which I bet there's hundred of stories out there. I trust that my experience here offers comfort to all that loved him.
Mary Jane
Friend
December 22, 2020
I loved Dr I! He helped diagnose my daughter when other Drs. hadn't a clue. I don't know how many times he'd throw me the keys to his hummer saying "go get us a couple cigars!". Rest in peace my old friend.
Brian Martin
Friend
December 18, 2020
May God bless you and your family in this time of sorrow.
Debbie Irk
Acquaintance
December 17, 2020
Dr.Inabnit was my family’s doctor for over 30 years. He would always remind us by actually saying he cared about us and gave us his personal cell number in case we needed him for anything at all. I always admired his dedication to visiting different nursing homes for those who couldn’t get out. Always showing his love for others. He will be missed.
REBECCA ALBERTSON
Friend
December 17, 2020
A wonderful doctor to both myself and my husband for many years. Also my mother, my aunt were patients and he was so caring to all. When you had your appointment he always made you feel that you were his only patient of the day! I managed a local movie theatre years ago, and he came often always happy! I will have wonderful memories of having the BEST doctor ever for my family. Love and prayers to the family during this time.
Nancy Hegland
Friend
December 17, 2020
"The generous will prosper; those who refresh others will themselves be refreshed." Proverbs 11:25

Ralph has earned his refreshment; he is dancing on a sea of glass with Jesus.
It will be the blink of an eye to Ralph before he is reunited with those he left behind, but it will seem like an eternity for those who loved him. We take solace in the fact that Ralph is not in our past; he's in our future.
john and judy oleary
Family
December 17, 2020
Doc was an amazing man. He was the only doctor for many years at Miller’s Merry Manor in New Carlisle and interviewed me when I first started there as a CNA. I’ll never forget that day. He was a good friend to my parents and he saved my dad’s life a few years back. When he was so sick and Memorial couldn’t help him, but Doctor I could. He saved his life. He was a great doctor and he did it for the right reasons. He really cared about all people.
Molly
Friend
December 17, 2020
Doc was a very giving person!! I saw him on many occasions be very generous. The man changed my life forever! He paid for my legal fees to get my business started because he was the only one who believed in me. I try to pay him back and he did not want my money he just told me to be successful and that was payment enough.
Chad Green
Friend
December 16, 2020
My heart is broken! Dr I and have been friends for almost 25 years. He was my medical director when I was a brand new DON he taught me so much!! He loved to teach!! His love of medicine was only compared to his love for his patients. We have always kept in touch and I will miss his random calls “let’s meet and have a toddy and catch up” I will miss u my friend❤ The world will not be the same without you
Teri
Friend
December 16, 2020
“Every good tree bears good fruit.”

I only had a chance to meet Dr Inabnit a few times at Notre Dame tailgates, but his son Brent and his family are good fruit and strong evidence of his many contributions to our community.

My heartfelt condolences to the entire Inabnit family on your loss.
Greg and Ellen Koellner
Friend
December 16, 2020
Sympathy gifts were selected in loving memory of Dr. Ralph Emerson Inabnit. To send a gift visit our online store.
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Sympathy Gift courtesy of
Chad Green
December 16, 2020
Sympathy gifts were selected in loving memory of Dr. Ralph Emerson Inabnit. To send a gift visit our online store.
Send Flowers and Gifts
Sympathy Gift courtesy of
Chad Green
December 16, 2020
Doctor I was a fixture here at Golden Living Fountainview. So many of the staff and residents will miss him dearly. We wish all his family and friends peace during this difficult time.
GLC-Fountainview staff
Acquaintance
December 16, 2020
A great, demanding guy.
Grady Ehmer
Friend
December 16, 2020
Prayers to his family. He was character, fastest talker for dictation I ever heard (smile) He had a huge heart and genuinely cared. He will definitely be missed. Hugs
CHRISTINA passwater
December 16, 2020
Doc was not only my doc for many many years but also my friend. I could call him on his cell phone anytime I wanted and he on mine. I will miss you my friend.
Tom Owens
Retired LPPD Chief Of Police
Tom Owens
Friend
December 16, 2020
I had the privilege of working and socializing with Dr. I for the first half of my nursing career, as well as the privilege of being cared for by him, too, until I changed employment and insurance providers. He will be missed! My condolences to the family.
Cynthia Brandt, BSN RN
Coworker
December 16, 2020
Beth you have our prayers and deepest condolences at this time. I have only heard of Ralph through Lori Jo's relationship with you, Ralph's involvement with the New Prairie football team and the other ways he found to leave this world a better place.
He IS a man to be admired and looked up to.
Chip Healy
Friend
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