Ralph Oliver Kennedy II, 60, of Menasha, passed away peacefully on September 6, 2012 after a short battle with cancer. Ralph faced his illness with a spirit and belief that whatever the outcome, it was God's plan. He dreamed of living long enough to celebrate twenty years with Linda – his final wish was granted.
Born April 9, 1952, in Ann Arbor, Michigan he moved to Appleton as a child with his parents Dr. Ralph and Betty Kennedy, who have preceded him in death. In addition to his beloved wife, Dr. Linda Marie Dejmek, Ralph is survived by his sister and brother-in-law, Linda Kennedy and Steve Lande of Menasha; his brother, Robert Kennedy of Appleton; brother-in-law and sister-in-law, Steve and Nancy Brady of Stillwater, Minnesota; nieces Erika Smith (Ryan) of Pewaukee, WI, and Kelsey Evenson of Grand Canyon, Arizona; nephew Daniel Brady of St. Paul, Minnesota; and a great niece, Madison Smith.
Ralph attended Wentworth Military Academy and St. Norbert College where he received a degree in Marketing and Finance. During his career, he worked for Bergstrom Enterprises, the Fire Alarm Organization, MCC, Inc., Evans Title and Johnson Bank. While employed at Evans Title, Ralph was very active in both the Fox Cities Home Builders Association and the National Association of Home Builders. In 1997, Ralph was named Associate of the Year for the National Association of Home Builders.
Ralph admitted to having large quantities of fun and a great deal of adventure. From diving in the Red Sea to traveling the world, he always enjoyed life to the fullest. Ralph's interests were varied. He loved traveling, cooking, the Arts and Literature, cars, and history, especially military history. He was a talented musician, enjoying all forms of music, but had a special place in his heart for jazz. Ralph was a player not a bystander in life and will be greatly missed by countless friends and business associates.
Of all the things Ralph loved in life, he especially loved living in the Fox River Valley. His strong belief in serving community over self, led him to become involved in numerous volunteer activities aimed at benefiting his community. To that end, Ralph was the 2005 recipient of the Bernie Perlman “Downtowner” award. He was Board Chairman for the St. Elizabeth Foundation, past president of Appleton Downtown Inc., and a board member of the Appleton Library Foundation. In 2000 and 2001, Ralph was co-campaign chair for the United Way annual campaign and in 1998 was recognized as the United Way Volunteer of the Year. In 2008, Ralph was honored by serving as the Grand Marshall for the 38th annual Appleton Downtown Christmas parade. And last, but not least, Ralph was a life-long supporter of our nation's Veterans and worked unceasingly to bring them the recognition they so deserve.
The family requests that in lieu of flowers, memorial donations be made to the St. Elizabeth Hospital Foundation or the Theda Clark Medical Center Foundation. Online condolences may be expressed at www.wichmanfargo.com.
Visitation will be held at the Wichmann Funeral Home, 537 N. Superior Street in Appleton on Friday, September 14, 2012 from 4:00 PM until 7:00 PM. A funeral mass will be held at Sacred Heart Catholic Church, 222 E. Fremont Street in Appleton on Saturday, September 15, 2012 at 10:00 AM, with visitation beginning at 9:00 AM
Wichmann Funeral Home
537 N. Superior Street
Appleton, WI 54911
920 739 1231