PLYMOUTH — Ralph Ervin Burkholder, 66, 10885 9A Road, passed away at his home Wednesday at 3:40 p.m. following a strong and courageous battle with lung cancer.
Ralph was born into the Amish community Sept. 29, 1946, to Ervin and Iva (Yoder) Burkholder, in Bremen. He was the sixth of 11 children born to them.
In May of 1965, after leaving high school, Ralph joined the United States Air Force, where he earned his GED during the Vietnam War. He was honorably discharged in November of 1968. He was then a local truck driver for almost 40 years, working for Central Transfer, CF and Holland Freight.
On June 1, 1974, Ralph married Virginia (Ginny) Ellen MacLain of Plymouth. They recently celebrated their 39th wedding anniversary. Ralph enjoyed his retirement from Holland Freight at the age of 62, which gave him time to work outdoors, spend time with his grandkids, read, go fishing with his good friend Bill Snyder and ride all over town on his scooter. He loved meeting all of his friends daily for morning coffee at McDonalds.
Ralph is survived by his wife, Ginny; a son, Joshua (fiance Jamie Branson and Jamie’s daughter Hannah) Burkholder of Culver; a daughter, Rachel (Jim) Pike of Plymouth; six grandchildren, McKenna, Kole and Kendra Burkholder of Argos, and Ethan, Caleb and Alexis Pike of Plymouth; five brothers, Lyle (Lena) Burkholder, Robert Burkholder, Orval (Roberta) Burkholder, Ernie (Jacque) Burkholder and Martin (Joann) Burkholder; three sisters, Arlene (Howard) Torkelson, Josie (Neil) Baer and Rebecca (Arlin) Geigley; and two aunts, Clara Burkholder and Barbara Burkholder.
Also surviving are Ralph’s in-laws; Rose MacLain (mother-in-law), Paul (Betty) MacLain, Karen (Ric) Liedtky, Doug (Kay) MacLain, and Michael (Michelle) MacLain. He is also survived my many nieces, nephews and cousins.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Ervin and Iva; two sisters, Verta and Edna Mae; his father-in-law, Hughie MacLain; a sister-in-law, Joyce Fraiser; and daughter, Erica Lynne Burkholder, who died shortly after birth.
Visitation will be held Sunday from 2 to 6 p.m. at the Johnson-Danielson Funeral Home, 1100 N. Michigan St., Plymouth. No funeral services will be held.
In lieu of flowers, memorial gifts may be given to the Cancer Association of Marshall County, c/o 9739 Sunnyside Drive, Plymouth, IN 46563, Center for Hospice, 312 S. Center St., Plymouth, IN 46563, or the Donor’s Choice.
On line condolences and the sharing of memories may be sent to the family at www.johnson-danielson.com.