Cover photo for Ralph Spomer's Obituary
Ralph Spomer Profile Photo
1923 Ralph 2023

Ralph Spomer

July 27, 1923 — March 6, 2023

Ralph Spomer was born near Alexander, KS on July 27, 1923. He grew up on a family farm where he experienced clean air and much hard work. He attended a local school, and was active in sports through graduation. After graduation, he attended Fort Hays State University, then enlisted in the U. S. Navy Officer Training Program. He took a brief leave and married his high school sweetheart, Virginia Miller, in July 1945. He was stationed at the Navy base in Norfolk, VA and served until Jan. 1946. After discharge, he attended the Kansas State School of Engineering. After graduation, he was employed by Mountain View Electric in Limon, CO. While living in Limon, a son, Brian, was born. The family returned to Kansas, where Ralph managed a small farm, owned by his father-in-law. After leaving the farm, the family lived in Manhattan, KS, while Ralph and Virginia obtained master's degrees.

After graduation, Ralph was employed by the U. S. Agricultural Research Service. The family lived briefly in Mississippi, then relocated to Council Bluffs, IA. Ralph was tasked with establishing a new research project to study soil erosion on Western Iowa farmland. He established a work facility and built measurement stations to determine soil erosion. Much data was collected regarding rainfall, erosion, and atmospheric and soil properties over a period of 25 years, to improve soil and fertilizer management practices. (Several times while working during severe thunderstorms, he "dodged" lightning bolts!) Ralph presented a research paper at the Joint U S / Canada conference in 1967, and hosted some fellow researchers from Poland, which has agricultural land with "Loess" soil, with similar conditions to the soil in Western Iowa.

Outside of work, Ralph was very active in Our Savior's Lutheran Church in Council Bluffs. He attended a 2-year training program, and then taught other congregation members. This training was a blessing to the teachers and to the members of the congregation. He was very active in the Christian Charismatic movement in the 1970's, attending conferences and sharing worship experiences with a regular small group of OSL members.

When Ralph and Virginia retired, they were active in Christian lay ministry with Hope International Services, participating in mission trips to Ivanovo, Rusia. Working with others, he repaired many structures and appliances in orphanages there. He continued to attend Bible studies and participate in congregation activities until his health declined in 2022. Ralph was an avid reader, and devoured many books by Christian authors. He was enthusiastic about sharing the relevance of the Christian worldview with anyone. He met Gerald November, a pastor from Capetown, South Africa, and supported the ministry there regularly.

After retirement, Ralph and Virginia became active in the local recreational vehicle club. Ralph held Sunday morning services at many RV campouts. Ralph and Virginia participated in the RV clubs for about 20 years, and were part of caravans to Acapulco, Alaska, Eastern U. S. and Canada, and other locations, including many Iowa camping events. He was interested in Civil War history, and traveled to sites of several battles. They had many unique adventures, and some "mis-adventures", including backing into the only post in a 160-acre parking area, and unhooking a fifth wheel for parking, but forgetting to lower the front stabilizing legs! They had many good experiences with fellow-campers from all over the U. S.

After the passing of Virginia in 2015, Ralph and Brian (with helpers) accomplished a monumental task -- clearing out the house they had occupied for 48 years. Many memories were relived as he gave cherished mementoes to friends. He then moved to an apartment at Harmony Court, and lived there with his son, Brian, until February 2023.

Due declining health, he moved to Northcrest Care. He received good care there, until he "graduated" to his eternal reward on March 6, 2023. His was a life well-lived, that had an impact on many people in the service of our Lord and Savior, Jesus.

He was preceded in death by his parents, John L. Spomer and Eugenia (Krieg) Spomer, his brothers, Elmer and William Spomer, his sister Helen Schwarzkopf, nieces Patsy Spomer and Connie Fowler (Spomer), niece Cynthia Tompkins, and nephews Barry and Craig Spomer. He is survived by his son Brian Spomer.

Visitation will be held from 10:00 AM - 11:00 AM at Our Savior's Lutheran Church on Friday, March 17, 2023.Funeral Service will be held at 11:00 AM at Our Savior's Lutheran Church on Friday, March 17, 2023. Memorials are suggested to Christ For The City (5855 N 90th St, Omaha, NE) or New Harmony Church (5841 W. Hwy 32, Salem, MO 65560).

Service Schedule

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Friday, March 17, 2023

10:00 - 11:00 am (Central time)

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Funeral Service

Friday, March 17, 2023

Starts at 11:00 am (Central time)

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