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Obituary for Ralph Leonard Gebhardt

Ralph Leonard  Gebhardt
Ralph Leonard Gebhardt, 83, of Elkhorn, went home to be with the Lord on Sunday, March 25, 2018, at Aurora Lakeland Medical Center in Elkhorn, WI. Ralph was born July 11, 1934, in Blackstone, Illinois to parents Fred William and Aletha Foneal Gebhardt. Ralph was a rural dairy farmer in Illinois until 1960, when he moved to Bristol, WI and began work for Russell Mott as a dairy farmer for the next 3 years. He met his wife, Jeneen Anne Williams, in 1962, at Silver Lake Community Baptist Church. On May 29, 1965, the two were wed by Jeneen’s father, Rev. Lawrence Williams and grandfather, Rev. Ray Williams, in Greenfield, Indiana. In 1965, Ralph went to work for S & W Dairy Corporation-Skyline Farm in Lake Geneva where he spent the next 18 years dairy farming while he and Jeneen raised their 3 children, Kimberly, Jonathan and Karen. In 1983, Ralph left dairy farming and entered caretaking and maintenance for farm properties in both Burlington and Lake Geneva. In 1987, he was employed by Havenwood Apartments in Lake Geneva as head caretaker until his retirement in 1996. Ralph resided in Elkhorn, at Sedgemeadow Senior Apartments, with his wife until January of 2017. He then became a resident of Holton Manor Nursing Home until the time of his death. Ralph was a big farmer, with a gentle heart. He was often referred to as a giant teddy bear and would often cry when telling or listening to a special story. Those who knew him, fondly recall the many stories he loved to share with others. Ralph’s most favorite story of all, was that of his Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ. He would often begin his stories with, “Well, the Lord saved me on September 23, 1962, at the age of 28…” He was a man who never wavered in his faith, held strong to the Word of God and had a burning passion to share the love of Jesus with everyone he met. We will all miss his stories, even the long ones! Ralph is survived by his wife of 52 years, Jeneen Gebhardt of Elkhorn, WI, oldest daughter Kim (Russell) Kozbiel and daughters Holly and Kylee of Elkhorn, WI, only son, Jon (Susan) Gebhardt and daughter Hallie (Adam) Chudy of Menomonee Falls, WI, and youngest daughter, Karen (Don) Mielke and children Karli, Banning, Maclain and Mila of Williams Bay, WI. He is also survived by his sister-in-law, Viola Gebhardt of Morris, IL, as well as several generations of nephews and nieces, his 7 grandchildren, previously mentioned, and a host of dear friends. Ralph was preceded in death by his parents, as well as 2 brothers, Glenn Gebhardt of Mazon, Illinois and Edward Gebhardt of North Attleboro Falls, MA. Services will be officiated by Pastor Stephen Hollenbeck and co-officiant, Rev. Larry Williams. Open visitation will be held at East Delavan Baptist Church, Delavan, WI on Sunday, April 8, 1-4 pm. Another visitation will be held Monday, April 9, from 9-10 am, Celebration of Life ceremony at 10 am and interment will follow at East Delavan Union Cemetery, Delavan, WI. All guests are invited to join the family for a luncheon immediately following interment. Betzer Funeral Home of Delavan is assisting the Gebhardt Family

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