Rev. Ralph H. Dude, 77, Normal, IL, passed away on Friday, July 24, 2015 at his residence.
A celebration of life service will be held Friday, August 7 at 11:00 AM at the First United Methodist Church, Normal, IL. Visitation will be at 10AM the day of the service and a lunch will follow the service. Rev. Dr. Don Jackson and Rev. Leah Pogemiller will be officiating. Private inurnment will be at a later date. In lieu of flowers the family suggests memorials be made to The Baby Fold, 108 E Willow St, Normal, IL 61761. Arrangements are being handled by Calvert & Metzler Memorial Home, Bloomington, IL.
Ralph was born October 15, 1937 in Decatur, IL the son of Rev. Gilbert and Lydia Hoeppner Dude. He married Karleen Lewis on August 7, 1960 in St. Paul, Minnesota. She survives.
Also Surviving are two daughters, Kari (Richard) Wetter, Indianapolis, IN; Rev. Anita (Kevin) Hahn, Traverse City, MI; five grandchildren, Deidra and Mara Wetter, Indianapolis, IN, Wesley Hahn, Sydney, Australia, Andrew and Lisa Hahn, Traverse City, MI. He is preceded in death by his parents.
Ralph graduated from Stonington High School and DePauw University, Greencastle IN. He received his Masters of Divinity from Garrett–Evangelical Theological Seminary, Evanston, IL. He served local churches in the Central Illinois Conference(CIC) of the United Methodist Church(UMC): Galesburg Emmanuel; Hampton & East Moline Grace; Kankakee Asbury; Bushnell; and Mossville. He was the UMC Council on Ministries Counselor for Camping and Youth Ministries and initiated the Youth Annual Conference for the CIC. Finally, he was Dir. Of Public Relations at The Baby Fold in Normal and established the Festival of Trees. He served on several CIC committees and was on the forefront of encouraging the church to move into the digital age. After his retirement he assisted as Pastor of Visitation, First UMC, Normal. He and his wife appreciated their family, biking and traveling. He enjoyed reading, woodworking and gardening. Ralph, as a member of the Normal Rotary Club, was a Paul Harris Fellow and District Rotarian of the Year, and served as club secretary.
He was a loving husband, father, grandfather and friend. He will be missed and remembered by all who knew him.