Traverse City Record-Eagle


December 15, 2013

Ralph Thomas Thorpe

“There but for the grace of God, go I.”

TRAVERSE CITY — On Dec. 12, 2013, the Lord called to his sacred heart, Ralph Thomas Thorpe, of Traverse City.

Ralph was born in Pittsburgh, Pa., to John and Mary Thorpe (Davis) on Nov. 6, 1929. He was the younger brother to Jack and older brother to sister, Leah (Page).

Ralph was a self confessed “jock.” He never met a sport he didn’t like and excelled at them all so much so that he lettered in four sports at Findlay University. He graduated with a teaching degree with an emphasis in theology. He later would be inducted into the school’s Hall of Fame for basketball. He was offered two tryouts from two professional sports team and ironically basketball wasn’t one of them!

Ah, but professional sports was not on his mind after graduation. Ralph met the love of his life when one of his city league baseball teammates introduced him to his sister, Rosalyn Daley. Ralph confesses that he knew immediately that his life would never be the same without her in it. He married her on Aug. 15. 1953, in Lima, Ohio.

Their 60 years provided a great journey both physically and spiritually. Their travels took them from Lima, Ohio, where all seven of their kids were born, to Ft. Wayne, Ind., Bismarck, N.D., Sussex, Wis., Coldwater, and finally to Traverse City, which they have called home for the last 35 years.

Ralph had held many positions in the food brokerage business over a 40-year career. When he retired many years ago he had owned and operated his own food brokerage business.

Ralph never met a stranger. His persona was larger than life. If you wanted to add a mix of fun to any occasion, you invited Ralph. If his quick wit didn’t do the trick he could always jump on a piano and tickle the ivories and have everyone singing and dancing in no time!

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