Ralph Harvey Herman
April 30, 1920 - March 22, 1993


Ralph was the sixth child of Frank and Lydia Herman , who had 16 children in all (two died in infancy).  Being such a large family, the older children were often times depended upon to care for their younger siblings, and much of this duty fell upon Ralph.  Ralph also lived a number of his younger years with Sam and Laura Scalf.  They treated him as if he were a member of their family.

Ralph went to Arsenal Technical High School in Indianapolis, where he was a good student.  After graduating from high school he worked at Rettig's Ace Hardware in the Brightwood section of Indianapolis.  In 1941, Sam Scalf helped him get a job at Schweitzer Corporation, on Massachusetts Avenue, as a tool and die maker.  He worked the 2nd shift.

In 1941, Ralph began dating Vonda Thompson, who lived across the street from his sister Ann Stahl.  Vonda lived at 1364 N. Gale Street in the Brookside area of Indianapolis.  On February 20, 1943 Ralph and Vonda were married.  When they were first married, Ralph and Vonda lived with Vonda's mother Bernice for several months.  Then Ann and Earl Stahl sold Ralph and Vonda their house at 1365 N. Gale.

In 1944, after a long period of pain in his right ear, Ralph had a mastoidectomy, and was thereafter deaf in that ear.  He never served in the military because of that reason.  He was, however, extremely patriotic his entire life.

On March 7, 1949, Ralph and Vonda had their first and only son, Paul.  In 1951 they moved to a house at 3456 N. Bancroft in Indianapolis.  Ralph continued to be very close with his family, especially Ann.  Frequent visits were made to see the Scalf's, and the Herman family kept in close touch.

In 1952, Paul got Polio, suffering paralysis in his left leg.  A series of medical treatments and operations for the next 9 or 10 years strained the family's finances.  However life was good for the Herman family, with frequent summer vacations to places in Indiana, Baltimore, and California.  Ralph continued to work nights at Schweitzer Corporation (later purchased by Wallace-Murray Corp) until he retired after 30 years.  During this period when Paul was growing up, Ralph was distressed at not being able to spend more social time with the family.  But he was a hard worker, and always provided a good living.  Ralph was a member of the Masonic Lodge, but was never able to get involved to the extent he would have liked because of his work schedule.

In 1968, Vonda and Ralph were divorced.  Paul continued to live with Ralph in the house on Bancroft, and Paul was enrolled at Rose Polytechnic Institute, in Terre Haute, IN.  In 1970, Ralph married Betty (Cosby) McKay.  They lived in the house on Bancroft for a time, and then moved to a house near Mount Comfort, in Hancock County, IN.

Ralph and Betty got along well, except for a short period when Betty became ill with cancer and suffered complications from surgery.  This was a trying time for them, and afterward Betty was dependent on Ralph for much of her care, being almost blind.  However they continued to enjoy life.  They raised their grandson Jamey, the son of Betty's daughter Debbie, in their home.

Some time in the early 1970's Ralph retired from Schweitzer Corporation.  For a short time he took a part time job working at Ace Hardware at 42nd and Arlington in Indianapolis, which was owned by the same man that owned the old Rettig hardware where Ralph worked during his younger years.  Ralph then took a job at Naval Avionics Facility in Indianapolis, where he worked as a manager in the tool and die making department.  In 1990, Ralph retired from Naval Avionics.  He took care of Betty, and pursued his interest in woodworking.  He also enjoyed gardening and working around the house.

In 1992, Ralph was diagnosed with lung cancer which was inoperable.  He died from a heart attack at his home in Mt. Comfort, on March 22, 1993 after suffering a previous heart attack several weeks earlier.  Ralph is buried in Washington Park East Cemetery, in Indianapolis, IN.

Documents on file for Ralph Harvey Herman;