Howard R. Ralston - Rochester

ROCHESTER — Funeral services for Howard R. Ralston, 79 of Rochester, will be at 4 p.m. on Saturday, June 26, 2010, at Ranfranz and Vine Funeral Homes, with the Rev. Andy Kumpel, Rev. Tom Johnson and Rev. John Landmark officiating. Visitation will be 1 hour prior to the service Saturday at the funeral home. Burial will be at Oakwood Cemetery on Monday, June 28, 2010.

Howard R. Ralston was born on April 6, 1931, in Petersburg, N.D., to Arthur Clyde and Ruth (Bergene) Ralston. He died at home June 22, 2010, after a courageous battle with cancer.

Howard graduated from Petersburg (N.D.) High School, Mayville State and the University of North Dakota, with a Master's degree in Education/Art. He married Aleta Michael on July 16, 1955, in Spokane, Wash. Howard served in the United States Air Force from November 1952 and was discharged in 1956 in Spokane. The couple moved to Rochester from Grand Forks in 1964.

Howard was an art teacher in the Rochester school system for 37 years, and a lifetime Artist. Howard attended Autumn Ridge Church, New River AG, Gloria Dei Lutheran Church and AA. He enjoyed painting, golfing, playing cards, traveling, baseball, football, and spending time with his grandsons, his large family and numerous friends.

Survivors include his daughters, Marie Weeks of Mankato, Minn., and Michele Goodsell of Mankato, Minn.; his son, Michael Ralston of Edina, Minn.; grandsons, Travis, Ross and Grant Goodsell; special friend, his "third daughter", Jill McGuire of Red Wing; sister, Faye Sturlaugson of Grand Forks, N.D.; brother, Don Ralston of Petersburg, N.D.; and numerous nephew, nieces, grand nephews and grand nieces. He was preceded in death by his parents; his wife, Aleta; brothers, Leslie, Lynn, Verne, Bob and Jack; and his son-in-law, Larry Weeks.

In Howard's own words, " It has been a good and fulfilling life. I thank the Good Lord for the gift of life that he has given to me, rich with all the blessings of the past 79 years with my family and friends."

Memorials can be directed to the Gift of Life Transplant House or Samaritan's Purse.

Ranfranz and Vine Funeral Homes, 5421 Royal Place N.W., Rochester, MN 55901. (507) 289-3600