Ralph J. Weirich, 85, Swayzee, died at 3:15 am, Thursday, Jan. 23, 2014, in Colonial Oaks Health Care. He was born in Marion, Indiana, to the late Ralph and Irene (Newell) Weirich. Ralph was a 1946 graduate of Sweetser High School. He first married W. Jean Coats on June 9, 1950, who preceded him in death on July 28, 1992. He later married Karen (Jarvis) Payne on March 25, 1995. She survives.
He retired in 1991 from Bowman Construction where he worked as a finishing carpenter and formerly worked for Harold Brothers in Marion. Ralph had worked extensively at the Marion Public Library, building many of the museum displays. He attended Herbst United Methodist Church and was a United States World War II Navy veteran, serving as an engineman on a crash boat stationed in the Philippines from 1946-1948. He was an avid fan of Indiana University and the Indianapolis Colts. He enjoyed restoring older cars and attending car shows. He loved driving his 1951 custom Ford, camping and building campers. He excelled in woodworking and made many gifts for his family. Many called him the “Master Carpenter.” More than anything, Ralph was a quiet and gentle man who loved his family. He was a devoted husband, father, grandfather and great-grandfather.
Survivors include his wife, Karen Weirich of Swayzee; daughters, Judith (Richard) Gochenour of Marion, and Susan Cole of Lebanon; sons, Stephan (Candi) Weirich of Salinas, Calif., and William (Michaelene) Weirich of Marion; stepdaughter, Cindy (Steve) Goodman of Converse; stepdaughter-in-law, Jean Payne of Marion; grandchildren, Jason (Amanda) Cole of Wichita, Kansas, Jared (Crystal) Cole of Thorntown, Mont., and Jennifer (Jerry) Collier of Advance; great-grandchildren, McKensey, Ciara, Noah, Austin, Parker and Annabelle, and numerous nieces, nephews and friends.
He was preceded in death by his arents, Ralph R. & Irene Weirich; his first wife, W. Jean (Coats) Weirich; stepson, Michael Payne; sister, Dorla Eib, and brother, Raymond Weirich.