Jan. 17, 1921 - Dec. 19, 2020
ELKHART, IN -
Rev. Ralph Ringenberg, 99, died of complications of COVID-19 on Saturday, December 19, 2020. He spent his last year and a half residing in the independent living wing of Hubbard Hill - Living Wisdom Community, Elkhart, IN. He moved there from his residence in South Bend where he had lived since 1983.
He was born on January 17, 1921 on the family farm in Harlan, IN to Henry and Edna (Zeimer) Ringenberg. He attended school in Harlan and after graduation attended Fort Wayne Bible College, Cleveland Bible Institute (Malone College), and Taylor University.
In 1953 he married Emily Figuly. They were married for over 62 years, and he lovingly cared for her during several years of declining health until her death at their home in 2015. For over seven decades he was a minister with the Missionary Church. He pastored churches in Cleveland, OH; Yoder, IN; East Peoria, IL; Mooresville, IN; South Bend, IN; and Crumstown, IN. He also served as interim pastor at St. Mark Missionary Church for an extended period. He was known for his deep empathy and caring as a pastor.
He was the editor of the denominational magazine, The Missionary Worker, from 1947 to 1951, then continued as an assistant for another year; he edited the historically-oriented book, Believers in the Missionary Church (1976); and he was a long-time faithful member of the Board of the Missionary Church Historical Society, to which he was named emeritus when he could no longer serve actively.
He was preceded in death by his parents, his wife, Emily; and in 2016 his grandson, Ross, as well as his older sister, Mary Evelyn Swedberg (101); and younger brother, Gerald (97) both of whom died in 2020.
He is survived by his three sons, Dr. Roy (Marabeth Johannes) Ringenberg of Raleigh, NC, Ron (Frances Valberg) Ringenberg of Elkhart, IN, and Dr. Rae (Melody Rohrer) Ringenberg of Apopka, FL. He also left behind six grandchildren: Sarah (Dan) Delsalvo, Peter Ringenberg and partner Leah Zimmer, Ruth (Jason) Martin, Joe (Rachael) Ringenberg, Nathan (Carolyn) Ringenberg, and Joel Ringenberg, and 10 great-granddaughters.
He left an indelible impact and a lasting legacy for his family, his congregations, and his many friends with his strong faith and gentle spirit.
Private graveside services and burial will be at the Sumption Prairie Cemetery in South Bend, IN. A virtual Memorial service will be held January 17, 2021 hosted by St. Mark's Missionary Church. The memorial service will be publicized via the church and Palmer Funeral Home-Guisinger Chapel so people can participate remotely. The service will also be recorded and available to view online. Online condolences can be offered to the family at www.palmerfuneralhomes.com
In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made to Reach Beyond for Dr. Roy Ringenberg's ministry or to the Ross Ringenberg memorial scholarship at Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary (AMBS).
Published by South Bend Tribune on Dec. 26, 2020.