Cover photo for Ralph  W. Anderson's Obituary
Ralph  W. Anderson Profile Photo
1932 Ralph 2020

Ralph W. Anderson

April 2, 1932 — January 30, 2020

Dedicated, intelligent, accepting and professional were just a few ways Ralph Anderson's family could describe such a wonderful man. He was competitive but humble and quiet about winning. He had a great sense of humor, was not one to judge others and easy to talk with. You could go to Ralph with a problem and he was great at giving you advice on the situation.

In 1932, most Americans were struggling as they entered the third year of the Great Depression. Ford Motor Corp. produced the Model Y automobile, the first parking meter was developed, Amelia Earhart became the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean and British Broadcasting Company (BBC) aired their first public television program. Families at the time, gathered around their radios to listen to the popular first airings of Little Orphan Annie and Buck Rogers of the 25th Century. On April 2, 1932, Albert Harold and Helen B. (Kaler) Anderson welcomed the birth of their first child, Ralph W. Anderson in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

Ralph's father had moved the family after taking a manufacturing job in Fort Wayne during WWII. He was raised along with younger siblings, Donald and Marilyn. Ralph was blessed with athletic skills. He enjoyed playing baseball during the summer and played on the Columbia City High School's football team and track as he attended school. He also was involved with the Hi-Y. He would graduate from Columbia City High School with the Class of 1950.

During his sophomore year, a fellow classmate caught his attention and soon after talking with her in the hallway, the course of his life would forever be changed. He and Shella M. Juillerat began dating that sophomore year. Ralph was drafted into the U.S. Army as a Freshman attending Ball State University. While in service, Ralph was married to his high school sweetheart on May 3, 1953 at Grace Lutheran Church in Columbia City. Upon being honorably discharged from the Army, he went back to Ball State and would graduate with a Master's Degree in 1959.

He taught for over 40 years with Fort Wayne Community Schools, retiring as Principal for Harris Elementary in 1994. He was a member of Grace Lutheran Church and after retiring, became a Mason. Ralph became an avid golfer following his time in the Army and was also an avid reader. In his later years, he would tend to be drawn to non-fiction biographies and it would not be uncommon for Ralph to have five different books being read at a time.

Ralph enjoyed spending time at Crooked Lake Golf Course and for over 20 years, he competed on the Indiana Senior Golf League. Being a gifted athlete, he also picked up bowling and competed in state tournaments and won his division. Ralph liked playing euchre with his family and after being beat by Shella in chess, he read about the strategies to master it. He even taught his children and some of his grandchildren to play.

For the past eight months Ralph's health declined and on Thursday afternoon at 4:05 p.m., Ralph W. Anderson, of Columbia City, Indiana passed away at Miller's at Oak Pointe at the age of 87. He is survived by his loving wife, whom he had spent the last 72 years with, Shella Anderson; his six children, Rene Anderson of Menlo Park, CA, Kalene (Tim) Ward of Columbia City, Lea (Jim) Barnes of South Whitley, Kirk Anderson of Columbia City, Kim (John Kaye) Anderson of Murrysville, PA and Gina (Mark) Haynes of Albion; 11 grandchildren, Ryan Ward, Todd Ward, Kelly Scutt, Emily Barnes, Ann Buit, Ashley Anderson, Ben Anderson, Meg Anderson, Stella Kaye, Kadie Maier and Kaler Haynes; and 18 great-grandchildren, Lila, Ava, Sadie, Silas, Landon, Libby, Kaden, Kiah, Mylie, Endra, Dorian, Lydian, Ross, Molly, Ruby, Mavis, Elliott and Ralph.

He was preceded in death by his parents; brother, Donald Keith Anderson; sister, Marilyn Shirey; and nephew, Randy Shirey.

A gathering of family and friends will be 1-4 p.m. Sunday, February 9, 2020 at DeMoney-Grimes Funeral Home, 600 Countryside Drive, Columbia City. A memorial service will be 10:30 a.m. Monday at Grace Lutheran Church with a gathering an hour prior. Pastor Matthew Converse will be officiating. Memorial donations may be made in his memory to Heartland Hospice. Visit to send Ralph's family condolences online.


DeMoney-Grimes a Life Story Funeral Home
600 Countryside Drive Columbia City, Indiana 46725

1:00 PM - 4:00 PM


Grace Lutheran Church
204 North Main Street Columbia City, IN 46725

10:30 AM
To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Ralph W. Anderson, please visit our flower store.


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