Ralph Kleinschmit

Obituary of Ralph T. Kleinschmit

            Ralph T. Kleinschmit, the son of Theodore A. Jr. and Dorothy L. (Peitz) Kleinschmit, was born on May 11, 1925 at Sacred Heart Hospital in Yankton and was raised on the family homestead near Menominee, Nebraska.  He was baptized, received his first communion, confirmed, and also an altar server in the St. Boniface Parish in Menominee, and it was in the St. Boniface Catholic School where he received his education.  Ralph worked and boarded on a farm starting at age 14.

            He was united in marriage to Clara Perk in 1948 at St. Rose of Lima Catholic Church in Crofton, Nebraska.  He continued to farm until 1953 when he moved his family to Yankton.  He first worked for a local carpenter, but when there was no work available for the winter, he went to work for Yaggie Mills, where he stayed for 41 years.  During his time there he worked in maintenance, and even earned a reputation as a prankster.  In his spare time, Ralph remodeled his home, repaired anything broken, and often making the parts needed rather than buying them.  Ralph considered his cattle his “hobby,”continuing to raise them until age 90.  He was a member of Sacred Heart Parish and was active with their Men’s Choir.  Ralph enjoyed attending his grandchildren’s birthday parties, as well as sporting and other events, which all kept him busy.

            Left to cherish his memory are three sons:  Joseph and Bobby (Montgomery) Kleinschmit of Yankton, Kevin and Deb (Uhing) Kleinschmit of Menominee, NE, and Frank and Roberta (Tejral) Kleinschmit of St. Helena, NE; three daughters:  Ruth and Roman Steffen of Menominee, NE, Kathy and Louis “Chip” Brewer of Yankton, and Barb Hansen of Yankton; thirty grandchildren; forty-seven great-grandchildren (with two on the way); six great-great-grandchildren; one sister, Audrey Wuebben; other relatives and friends.

            Ralph was preceded in death by his parents; his wife Clara in 2004; two brothers:  Marvin Kleinschmit and DelRay (Ida Jane) Kleinschmit; one brother-in-law:  Jerome Wuebben; one son-in-law:  Ole Hansen; three grandsons:  Joseph Kleinschmit, John Steffen and Chris Steffen; one grandson-in-law:  Barry Christensen; and one granddaughter-in-law:  Becky Steffen.