Ralph Hentges

Nov. 17, 1921-April 7, 2014

CANBY – Mass of Christian Burial for Ralph Hentges, 92, of Canby, will be 10:30 a.m. Thursday at St. Peter’s Catholic Church. Visitation will be 5-7 p.m. today at Birk Funeral Home with a Rosary at 7 p.m. followed by a prayer service. Visitation will continue from 9-10 a.m. Thursday at the funeral home followed by procession to the church for mass. Burial will be in St. Peter’s Catholic Cemetery. Military honors will be provided by Canby/Porter Military Honor Guard. In lieu of flowers, family prefers memorials to: St. Peter’s Catholic School or Sanford Canby Medical Center.

He died Monday, April 7, 2014, at the Sanford Canby Medical Center.

Ralph Peter Hentges was born Nov. 17, 1921, in Canby, to Leo and Teresa (Burgart) Hentges. He graduated from Canby High School in 1940. He served in the Army Air Corp during World War II and was discharged in December 1945. He worked for his dad, who started Independent Oil Company, until 1952 which is when he bought it from his dad. On Sept. 11, 1952, he was united in marriage to Leona Schiller. From this union, six children were born. In 1983, he sold Independent Oil and then built the Canby Dairy Queen. In 1994, he sold the Dairy Queen and finally retired and spent the winters in Arizona from 1984 to 2014. On April 24, 1998, Leona passed away. In 2001, he married Gloria Jahn.

Throughout his life, he enjoyed flying as a pilot. He also was an avid fisherman and hunter. Even up to the end, he fished in Arizona before coming back to Minnesota, which is when he started to make plans for his annual fishing trip to Canada.

He was passionate about health care and served on the Canby Hospital Board for more than 55 years. He taught gun safety training for more than 40 years and was a member of the VFW and American Legion. He was a charter member of the World War II Lastman’s Club and was the second to last surviving member. The Sportsman’s Club was originated by him and his friends and he was the last surviving original member. Ralph belonged to St. Peter’s Catholic Church and was a member of the Knights of Columbus.

Ralph is survived by his family: David (and friend, Marcy Hillman) of Canby, Gerald (and Kathleen) of Morris, Richard (and Wendy) of Milbank, S.D., Lauri (and Steven) Pfeiffer of Ramsey and Judy (and Russell) Gieske of Blaine; 14 grandchildren; 15 great-grandchildren; and three sisters, Florence Sommerer, LaVonne Genzlinger and Leona Dunn.

He was preceded in death by his parents; wife, Leona of 46 years; son, Steven; wife, Gloria; sister, Ardell Redder and great grandchild, Willa.

Blessed be his memory.