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Ralph Hatzenbihler, 97, of Mandan, passed away on May 11, 2018 at Miller Pointe, Mandan. Mass of Christian Burial will be held on Wednesday, May 16, at Christ the King Catholic Church at 10:30 a.m. Burial will be held at Mandan Union Cemetery.
Visitation will be held Tuesday, from 6:00-8:00 p.m. at Weigel Funeral Home, with a Rosary/Parish Vigil at 7:00 p.m. Visitation will continue at the church one hour prior to the service on Wednesday.
Ralph was born on May 6, 1921 to John and Barbara (Barnhardt) Hatzenbihler in Center, ND. He was one of 11 children--four girls and seven boys. He was working on the family farm when at age 24 years old he received his draft notice. His brother, who was five years younger, would be drafted as well. Ralph served in the Army from 1944-1946. He was on board a ship bound for Manila Bay, the Philippines, when the United States dropped the first atomic bomb on Hiroshima. Ralph returned home after 10 months abroad.
He married his first wife, Margaret Landeis, in 1948. He would continue working on the farm until 1965 before moving to Mandan and taking a job with Farmers Union delivering gas to farms for 13 years. He and his first wife had five children before she died in 1979. He remarried in 1984. He and his second wife, Louise Renner, have 11 children between the two of them, as well as 27 grandchildren, 41 great-children, with another expected in June, and one great-great granddaughter.
A devoted father and grandfather, he enjoyed teaching the next generation whether it be cards, fishing or just about life. He was kind, patient and known for never speaking ill of anyone. Ralph loved to fish and garden. He was very talented at crafting metal sculptures, doing woodwork and could fix or repair almost anything. Over the years, he and his brother, M.J. Hatzenbihler, also made tons of sausage which they shared with friends and relatives. In Ralph’s later years, he worked on puzzles and took up whittling. He was a lifetime member of the Knights of Columbus as a Fourth Degree Knight; as well as a member of the St. Anthony Verein.
He is survived by his wife, Louise Hatzenbihler, and his children: Diane (Jim) Ahlberg, Minneapolis; Cheryle (Ron) Bitz, Bismarck; LeAnn (Byron) Kershner, Omaha; Denny (Deb) Hatzenbihler, Rochester and DeNae (Roedell) Buchholz, Fresno; as well as his stepchildren, Jeff (Angie) Renner, Becky (Ron) Hummel, Jackie Engelhart, Nick (Sheila) Renner and Glenn (Brenda) Renner; as well as his sister, Liz Haag, and numerous nieces and nephews.
He is preceded in death by his parents, three sisters and six brothers, his first wife and his stepdaughter, Lori Renner.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to a charity of your choice.