Ralph August Schewe, 100, of Merrill, died Thursday, December 27, 2012 at his home under the care of Kindhearted Home Care and Asera Care Hospice.
He was born to the late Adam & Emma (Leidiger) Schewe in Merrill, Wisconsin on September 15, 1912; the same year his father Adam Schewe began what was then Merrill Candy Co. using the brand name “Merrillite”. Ralph graduated from high school in 1930, and then went to Notre Dame to be a Chemical Engineer. After two years he transferred to the school of Commerce at Northwestern University. In 1934 Ralph graduated with a degree in Business Administration and Marketing. On June 26, 1937 he and Florence M. Glennon were united in marriage in Stevens Point. She preceded him in death December 1, 2006.
Ralph served as a Lieutenant in the U.S. Navy from 1944-1946. He loved watching football and baseball, especially the Green Bay Packers, Notre Dame, Northwestern and the Brewers. Hunting at the shack (New Wood retreat) was the joy of his recreational life, along with fishing on many lakes and streams and going up north with his family. He truly loved living on Lake Pesobic and enjoyed the frequent family gatherings. Ralph also loved traveling with his wife, Florence and was a great dog lover. In fact, his family cannot remember a time when there wasn’t a dog in his life. He served as President of the Wisconsin Association of Tobacco Distributors from 1952 – 1954 as well as President of the National Candy Wholesalers Association (NCWA) from 1957 thru 1958. He was awarded the NCWA’s highest honor, the C.M. McMillan Medallion, in October of 1990. Ralph was a lifetime member of St. Francis Catholic Church in Merrill and also a member of the Knights of Columbus, the Merrill Rotary Club for 76 years, the Lincoln County Sportsman Club, and a proud member of the Silver M Club where he received his Diamond M award in 2002 after lettering in football in 1927. He was an Eagle Scout and was very involved with the Boy Scouts of America.
Survivors include his five daughters: Mary Ann (Ken) Van Der Geest, Merrill, Betty (Mark Sr.) Weix, Merrill, Jane (Jim) Pehlke, Annapolis, MD, Barbara (Ralph) Mansavage, Stevens point, and Nancy (Ron) Cournaya, Geneva, IL; two sons: Richard (Susan) Schewe, Bellavista, AR, and John (Diane Goetsch) Schewe, Merrill; 34 grandchildren, 72 great grandchildren and six great great grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his parents, wife, Florence, one infant son, James, son-in-law, David Buehler, two grandchildren, Michael and Catherine and one great grandson, Christopher.
Mass of Christian burial will be held at 10 AM Monday, December 31, 2012 at St. Francis Catholic Church. Father Mike McLain will officiate. Visitation will be held from 4-8 PM Sunday, December 30 and again from 8:30 – 9:30 AM Monday before the service, all at Waid Funeral Home. Burial will follow at St. Francis Cemetery. The family requests donations be made to St. Francis Catholic Church, or Bell Tower Residence or the Silver M Club. Waid Funeral Home is assisting the family with arrangements. Online condolences may be made at www.waidfuneral.com.