In Memory of Ralph Matzek

Private graveside services will be held.

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Ralph Raymond Matzek, age 95, died on March 28, 2020 at his home in Maiden Rock, WI, after a brief illness. He was born to Edward and Gertrude (Kirchner) Matzek on September 22, 1924 in the Cherma area of River Falls Township. Ralph graduated from the 8th grade at Jerusalem Corners School and started farming with his father on the Collins’ Farm on County E. He met his bride, Maxine Collett, at the Ellsworth Dance Hall. They were married on August 20, 1946 at St. Francis Catholic Church in Ellsworth, WI. Ralph loved and lived to farm. Ralph’s love for farming led he and Maxine to purchase a farm near Grange Hall next to his in-laws, Willard and Alice Collett. Ralph served as Chairman of the Salem Town Board and the Ellsworth Farmers Union Board for many years. His hobbies included working on his farm, listening to big band music, kicking up his heels with Maxine at a Sat. night dance, teasing the grandkids and buying tractors of several colors, with the first and last being green.

Ralph was preceded in death by his parents, Edward and Gertrude Matzek, wife, Maxine; and sister, Verna Mae Carlson. Ralph is survived by his children, Douglas (Mary) Matzek of Maiden Rock, Nancy (Doug) Weiss of River Falls, and Robert (Lori) Matzek of Maiden Rock; grandchildren, Lisa (Chris) Iverson, Kelly (Ryan) Paul, Kristin (Ryan) Miller, Larissa (Brian) Fayerweather, Daniel (Sheena) Matzek, and Matthew (fiancé, Elizabeth Potter) Matzek; great-grandchildren, Alyssa and Isaac Iverson, Benjamin and Katherine Schroeder, Emma Miller, Aiden and Adalyn Fayerweather; siblings, Norman (Shirley) Matzek of Hudson and Marlys Meulemans of Ashland, OR; and sister-in-law, Lorna Herbaly of Denver, CO.

Due to the current health crisis, private graveside services will take place at St. John’s Catholic Cemetery in Plum City. A celebration of Ralph’s life will take place at a later date for family and friends. Pallbearers assisting with the services will be Ralph’s grandchildren. Honorary pallbearers will be Ralph’s great-grandchildren.

Funeral services are entrusted to the O’Connell-Benedict Family Funeral Home of Ellsworth (715) 273-4421. www.oconnellbenedict.com

Ralph's Tribute Wall

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  • To my uncle and one of my favorite people — I will miss you. I remember all of the summer trips from Oregon out on your farm. It was such a memorable part of my childhood milking cows, feeding animals, riding tractors and engaging in the kind of mischief that you loved and encouraged. It was heaven! I’m so glad I was able to see you one last time and introduce you to my daughter. She had heard all the stories but got to experience it herself. Thanks for dragging out the rusty old ringer washer machine so we could all laugh and reminisce about all my misadventures on the farm over the years. You were exactly as I remembered and I will never forget you. Rest In Peace.

  • My Uncle Ralph had the bluest eyes, and they always twinkled when he laughed. He loved to farm, and as a child, I remember so much fun with all the animals, tractor rides, and motorcycle rides (courtesy of my cousins). You will be missed, Uncle Ralph, and I know life won’t be quite the same for everyone without you here. Yet you live on in all of those still here, who love you still, and honor your life. You were well loved.