May 27, 1938 - March 1, 2021
Jefferson, WI - Ralph Harold Draeger, 82, passed away peacefully of natural causes on Monday, March 1, 2021, at Jefferson Memory Care.
Ralph was born in Fort Atkinson on May 27, 1938, to Harold W. and Lucile (Weckler) Draeger. He graduated from Fort Atkinson High School in 1956 and attended the University of Wisconsin Farm Short Course receiving his certificate in 1957. He was a lifetime member of St. John's Community Church where he was united in marriage to Patricia Ann Scherwitz on November 29, 1969, at which time he and Patricia moved to Watertown, Wisconsin.
He grew up on the Future Hope Dairy Farm and started showing registered Holstein cattle at the age of 10 when he joined the Ideal Holstein 4-H Club. He realized success in the show ring and was the owner of Future Hope Roamer Faith (Blackie). She was the 3rd Excellent Dam in a 6-generation Excellent maternal line—the first in the history of the Holstein Breed.
Ralph joined the Wisconsin National Guard upon graduation from high school and served 10 years as part of Company C, 2nd Brigade, 128th Infantry, 32nd Division. In October 1961, Ralph was activated to For Lewis, Washington, for the Berlin Crisis.
Over the course of his life, he worked in agriculture, carpentry, metal fabrication, and printing. His interests in life ranged from agriculture to aviation and electronics to sports.
After the untimely passing of his wife on December 9, 1982, Ralph was left to raise his 2 young sons. He is survived by both of his sons—Joshua P. (Therese) Draeger of Jefferson, and Luke A. (Jessica Pera) Draeger of Dickeyville, Wisconsin. He is further survived by brothers Roger W. and W. Peter (Linda), both of Fort Atkinson; and 4 sisters, Donna Petersen, Fort Atkinson; Andrea Louis-Visser, (James Visser), Waukesha; Marily Frey (Richard), Oxford, Mississippi; and Pamela Andrews (Dennis), Maricopa, Arizona.
Ralph was preceded in death by his wife, Patricia, his parents, and a brother-in-law, Albert V. Petersen, Jr. and a sister-in-law, Wanda Draeger.
A private burial service will be held at Union Cemetery, Town of Sumner, with Pastor Kevin Butler officiating.
A special thank you to the caring staff at Jefferson Memory Care and Rainbow Hospice.
Memorials may be made to St. John's Community Church of the Town of Oakland, the Jefferson County Humane Society, or a charity of one's choosing.
The Dunlap Memorial Home is assisting the family.