Obituary for Ralph E. Waite
Retired Funeral Director & Owner, Father of Harold and Darrell Waite, Grandfather of Andrew and Christopher Waite, all of Waite & Son Funeral Homes
Ralph E. Waite, age 93 of Medina, peacefully went to be with the Lord on Tuesday, February 18, 2020. He was born on April 26, 1926 in Medina to the late Harold Elliot and Violet (Pelton) Waite. Ralph met his future wife Helen whom he dated throughout high school. As they graduated Ralph went off to serve in WWII with the European theater 99th Inf. 924 Field Artillery, and the two were faithful about writing to each other through the war years. He was discharged in 1946, attended Cleveland School of Mortuary Science and joined both his father and grandfather in the family business. On July 23, 1948 Ralph married the love of his life, Helen R. Clark. Together the couple raised twin sons, Harold & Darrell, born 1950. Ralph and Helen found great joy in their wonderfully rich 70 years of marriage, prior to her passing in 2018, and were lucky to be able to celebrate that milestone earlier that year surrounded by their entire beloved family.
Ralph & Helen expressed their faith through lifelong commitments with Medina United Methodist Church and Harvest Presbyterian Church serving in many capacities, trustee, administrative board, stewardship and membership committees. He received the Methodist Cross & Flame Award in 1988 for outstanding service to the youth of the church, especially his Scouts. Scoutmaster of Troup 501 for 30 years, he received the Silver Beaver Award. Ralph drove a school bus for Medina City Schools from 1950-1960, served on the Medina school board from 1966-1973, and he was one of the very first in the community to receive the Jaycees Young Man of the Year Award. Ralph’s crowning honor in the community was the naming of Ralph E. Waite Elementary School in 2009.
As a Funeral Director, Ralph served the Medina area for over 50 years. He took over the family business, Waite & Son Funeral Home, from his father before him. Ralph was a lifelong resident of Medina and was active in all aspects of the community; President of Tri County Funeral Directors Association, President of the Medina Rotary Club (where he had been a member since 1952), President of Medina City School Board of Education 1966-1974, Inducted into the Medina City School Hall of Fame in 2002, served as Buckeye Boys State Commissioner from 1968 to 2007 and headed City Government for over 12 years. In 2005 he was President of Buckeye Boys State. He served the Ohio Erie Rotary Youth Exchange Program as both President and Chief Contact for 25 years. He served twice as Post Commander and is a life member of American Legion Post # 202, of Veterans of Foreign Wars Post #5137, and Medina AMVets Post #1990. He has proudly served as Honor Guard at OWRNC in Rittman, Ohio. In 2006 he was appointed to Medina County Veterans Service Commission. Ralph’s favorite saying was ‘Community Service is the rent we owe for the space we occupy on earth…’ He executed that philosophy throughout his adult life, passing that on as an example to his children, grandchildren, great grandchildren and community of Medina itself.
Ralph was well known for his love for Helen and his family. He had a passion for trains (as his labor of love on the 2nd floor of Waite & Son shows), along with a deep respect for those who serve, always willing to share his stories with others.
Ralph is survived by his twin sons, Harold A. (Nanette L. Root) Waite of Chippewa Lake, Darrell L.(Carolyn Croskey) Waite of Westfield Center; six grandchildren Andrew (Allison) Waite, Meredith (David) Gilpin, Brandon (Vanessa) Waite, Christopher (Ashley) Waite, Catie (Dan) Taylor, Crystal (Jeremy) Doyle; great grandchildren, Claire, Abigail, Evan, Samuel, Averie, Henry, Grace, Josiah, Owen, Oliver, Adalyn, Cecilia, Elijah and one expected great grandson.
He was preceded in death by his beloved wife, Helen R. (Clark); parents; sister, Janice; and beloved great grandson Noah Taylor.
Ralph’s family will receive friends on Friday, February 21, 2020 from 1:00 to 9:00 p.m. at Waite & Son Funeral Home, 765 North Court Street, Medina, Ohio 44256. Ralph’s funeral service will take place at 11am on Saturday, February 22, 2020 at Ralph E. Waite Elementary 4765 Cobblestone Drive, Medina, OH 44256 with Dr. David Wallover and Dr. Larry Morrison officiating the service.
A Private Family Burial with Military Honors will be held at Spring Grove Cemetery in Medina.
In lieu of flowers, the family will gratefully accept donations in Ralph’s memory to:
Ralph E. Waite Elementary PTO – 4765 Cobblestone Drive, Medina, OH 44256
Cups Café- 126 N Court St, Medina, OH 44256
Vine & Branches- 1023 Concord Drive, Medina, OH 44256
Harvest Presbyterian Church- 1095 E Reagan Pkwy, Medina, OH 44256
Ralph’s family wishes to extend a heartfelt thank you to Bonnie, Annie, Gail, Charles, and Becky, the caregivers assisting in their home for the special love and compassionate care that they gave to Ralph every day.