Ralph E. Malec

Ralph E. Malec

MADISON – Ralph E. Malec, age 77, of Madison, passed away peacefully in his home on Tuesday, Dec. 10, 2019, surrounded by family. Ralph was born in Madison on Sept. 3, 1942, to Raymond and Estelle (Cox) Malec. He graduated from Monona Grove High School in 1960, and later from the University of Wisconsin-Platteville. He was a member of the Wisconsin National Guard and the 13th Evacuation Hospital.

Ralph had the good fortune to meet the love of his life in high school. He and Sharon McCall were married on Aug. 14, 1965, after eight years of dating. They shared a deep love and commitment for 54 years. Ralph and Sharon traveled the world, going on a Kenyan Safari, taking trips to China, Russia, Eastern Europe, Morocco, Spain, Venezuela and England, and visiting 48 states.

Ralph joined Oscar Mayer right out of college and had a successful and fulfilling career as an industrial engineer, being assigned to Madison, Nashville, and Chicago. After 30 years at Oscar Mayer, Ralph retired, often giving the advice “you have to have a reason to get up every day.” He then followed his own counsel and got up daily to fulfill his passion for carving and woodworking. His most famous works are his uniquely carved Lake Michigan driftwood Santa ornaments.

During this holiday season, Ralph’s artwork will be displayed all across the country on Christmas trees and in people’s homes. Ralph had a love of wood. He was always looking for challenges in his woodworking. As he told Dr. Kostelyna the last time he saw him, “I’m not through yet. I have a lot more to do.”

Ralph made friends easily with his smile and soft-spoken manner. Ralph and Sharon want to thank their family and friends, not just for the encouragement during these long four years, but for a lifetime of love and support. They would particularly like to thank their brothers, Mike Malec and Don McCall, who spent time with him every week for the last four years. Ralph and Sharon were fortunate to have many friends through the years, such as their Fish Group.

Ralph is survived by his wife, Sharon; son, David Malec; daughter, Michelle Roberts; granddaughter, Olivia Roberts; grandson, Zachary Roberts; and his brothers Raymond (Susan) Malec and Michael (JoAnn) Malec. He was preceded in death by his parents.

Ralph and Sharon would like to thank Dr. Kostelyna, his physician for over 20 years, and the Carbone Group and Dr. Morris at the University of Wisconsin Clinic.

A memorial service will be held at GUNDERSON EAST FUNERAL AND CREMATION CARE, 5203 Monona Drive, Madison, at 12 noon on Thursday, Dec. 19, 2019. Visitation will be held at the funeral home from 10 a.m. until the time of the service on Thursday. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the family for a memorial to be designated later. Online condolences may be made at www.gundersonfh.com.