Ralph Henry VanGoethem, 87, of Lee’s Summit, Missouri, formerly a resident of Kansas for 74 years, passed away in his home on Sunday evening, February 19, 2017, after a courageous battle from a series of illnesses. Services were held at St Pius X Catholic Church Friday, February 24, 2017.
Ralph was born the third of 8 children to Julien and Clare (Harrington) VanGoethem in a Gardner farm house on January 16, 1930. He attended a one room school house and then graduated from Gardner High School in 1947 and completed Coyne Electrical School (Chicago) in 1948. He was a US Marine Corps Veteran, serving as staff sergeant until 1953 in the First Marine Air Wing during the Korean Conflict. Ralph married Jeanette E. Reliford on December 12, 1953. Ralph worked 44 years in electrical construction where he was President of KC Electrical Construction Company of North Kansas City from 1965 until his retirement in 1992. Ralph was the NECA chapter president of Greater KC, president of the North Kansas City Rotary Club, a member of Knights of Columbus, and active in the Boy Scouts of America. Ralph was a member of St Pius X Parish for 57 years.
Ralph is survived by his loving wife of 63 years, Jeanette; son Thomas (Erin); son William (Lynda); daughter Susan (Joe Herrman); daughter-in-law Rhonda Parks; 12 grandchildren; 10 great-grandchildren; brothers Paul and John VanGoethem; and sisters Monica Moll and Irene Kehoe. Ralph was preceded in death by his parents, son Timothy, in 2013, and sisters Rosemary Weilert, Alice Spellman, and Theresa VanGoethem.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Ralph’s memory to Catholic Charities of Northeast Kansas (catholiccharitiesks.org) or the charity of your choice.