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Ralph Norman Alvestad, 96

April 10, 2014
Northern-Sun Print
Ralph Norman Alvestad, 96, of Story City died April 4, 2014 at Bethany Manor in Story City. Funeral services were Tuesday April 8 at 1:30 pm at Immanuel Lutheran Church in Story City. Burial with military rites will follow in the Roland Cemetery. Visitation was 1 hour prior to the service at the church. Ralph was born on September 1, 1917 in Roland to Henry and Emelia (Salverson) Alvestad. He was baptized, confirmed, and married at Salem Lutheran Church in Roland. Ralph was graduated from Roland High School in 1935. In the fall of 1940 he enrolled at Iowa State University in the school of engineering. After one year he put college on hold and enlisted in the Army, serving four years during World War II. He was in Hawaii when Pearl Harbor was bombed, and moved with Gen. Douglas MacArthur’s army from Australia to New Guinea and the Philippines. After the war he returned to Iowa and re-enrolled at Iowa State, where he graduated with a degree in civil engineering in 1948. In June of 1947, he married Irene Hanson of Roland, who he first saw in the choir loft at church. She was the joy of his life, a loving wife of 65 years. The couple had two children together. His engineering jobs took them to Texas, Missouri, Waterloo, Iowa and finally to Gladbrook, where he worked for Gethmann Construction as project manager from 1956 until his retirement. He was a member of Christ Lutheran Church and served as president of both the Gladbrook School Board and Gladbrook Library Board. He was a member of the American Legion, and the Iowa Engineering Society, where he served on the scholarship committee for the Master Builders of Iowa and also with a group to initiate a construction engineering curriculum at Iowa State University. In 2005, Ralph and Irene moved to Story City, Iowa , where they became members of Immanuel Lutheran Church. He was a voracious reader up until his last days. He enjoyed crossword puzzles, fishing, and especially spending time with children, grandchildren and great grandchildren. He is survived by his wife, Irene of Story City; two children: Dennis and wife Anne, of Ankeny, daughter Carole Ann and husband Dr. Larry Otteman, of Ames; two grandchildren: Dr. Alec Otteman and wife Andrea and their children Avery, Anders Ralph and Alma, of St. Paul Minn. And Andrea (Otteman) Belz and husband Adam, of Minneapolis. Memorials may be made to Immanuel Lutheran Church, Bethany Manor or the Story City Library. Soderstrum Funeral Home is entrusted with arrangements.

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