Ralph Schrank was called home to our Lord Jesus on September 22, 2021. He was 77 years old. Ralph was a lover of the written word; an extremely creative man. He had a gift for seeing things and what things could be where others couldn’t. He had an incredible sense of humor right up to the time of his passing. He could make you smile and laugh one minute and put you in deep thought the next. He loved everything in its place, good conversation, wildlife art, a great steak, wine country, smooth jazz, fast cars and his wife Jane!
Ralph was born in Denver, Colorado on November 11, 1943 to the late Robert and Alice Schrank. He and his family moved to Wisconsin when Ralph was a young boy. Ralph’s early work years were in the oil drilling industry selling instrumentation. In the early1970’s, he found his true calling…the world of advertising specialties, (today promotional products). Ralph truly loved the promotional product industry. He and then wife Sharon launched Ad-Vantage, Corp. in 1973 and together grew it into an industry leader. He was the trade association’s lead instructor of their continuing education program. After selling Ad-Vantage, Ralph became an industry consultant assisting both suppliers and distributors with their marketing efforts. His real passion was working with customers. This caused him to reunite with some former Ad-Vantage employees at Appleton- based Strategies. He was able to stay active and use his creativity right to his final days marking 50 plus years in the industry he loved.
Ralph enjoyed taking road trips with Jane to Madison’s farmers market, Door County or any number of other places in and around the Midwest in his latest “lightly used” beautiful car purchases. Unless it was raining . . . then they would take Jane’s car!
Ralph was preceded in death by father Robert Schrank, mother Alice (Knoblauch) Schrank, grandson Tyler Nicholas Tenley, and mother-in-law Betty Madson.
Ralph is survived by his wife Jane (Madson-Hurst), daughters Jennifer Schrank-Williamson and Kari Tenley, step-son Philip Hurst, grandson Richard Allen (Chelsey), granddaughter Taylor Tenley (Alex), sister Holly Schrank, brother Mark Schrank, former spouse Sharon Schrank and many friends.
A celebration of life for Ralph will be held Thursday, June 30, 2022 at 11:30 am at Mason Street Church of Christ, 2600 N Mason Street, Appleton, WI. A time of visitation will be held on the same day at 10:30 am until the time of service. Please consider leaving an online condolence for Ralph's family.