Sunday, November 29, 2020


July 10, 1929—July 21, 2020

   SPARTA - Ralph B. Hendersin, Jr. was born to Ralph B., Sr. and Doris (Ripley) Hendersin on July 10, 1929 in Sparta.

   Ralph grew to adulthood in the Leon area. He attended Leon and Hohn schools and graduated from Sparta High School in 1946 at the age of 16. In the fall, this farm kid took the train to Chicago to attend Coyne Electrical School for five months.

   He served in the U. S. Air Force 1951-1954, spending a year on duty in Korea. Ralph was united in marriage to Janet Rudkin on November 5, 1955 at the First Methodist Church in Sparta. Two daughters were born to this union, Karen and Lynn. He retired from U S Army Civil Service work after 33 years in 1984.

   Ralph was a man of many talents; he could build or fix most anything, checking Google for help. He built a miniature working still, which he donated to the Monroe County History Room. His hobbies included ham radio, brewing beer, making wine, gardening, grafting apple trees and lastly, restoring old abandoned cemeteries. He cast 85 tablet stones as markers for the forgotten graves in the first Monroe County Poor Farm cemetery.

   Ralph’s greatest enjoyment, aside from his family, was wandering the woods in his Willys Army Jeep, gathering apples, picking berries, hunting deer and just taking in the beauty of nature. In his 80’s, he helped with the grape harvest at Vernon Wineyard for several years. Ralph served on the Woodlawn Cemetery Board and was instrumental in getting the new maintenance building erected. He was a lifetime member of The National Rifle Association.

   Ralph is survived by his wife of 64 years, Janet; two daughters, Karen Hendersin and Lynn (Carl) Sembach; a sister-in-law, Janell Hendersin; brothers-in-law, Raymond Rudkin and Richard (Elaine) Rudkin; and numerous nieces and nephews.

   Ralph passed away at his home on Tuesday, July, 21, 2020, at the age of 91 years and 11 days.

   He was preceded in death by two grandsons, Kevin Witt and Kyle Witt; his parents, Ralph Sr. and Doris; sisters, Ruby (Winnie) Linnehan and Dalorus Hendersin; brothers, Boyd Hendersin and James (Alvera) Hendersin; sisters-in-law, Vivian (Harold) Webster, Beatrice Tenner and Anna Belle Rudkin; and a brother-in-law, Kenneth (Kathleen) Rudkin.

   A drive through visitation will be held from 3-4 p.m., on Tuesday, July 28, at the Lanham-Schanhofer Funeral Home, Sparta. Those planning on attending are to enter the parking lot via Franklin St. and exit on Water St. The family asks that guests stay in their vehicles.

   A private family graveside service will be held in Woodlawn Cemetery, Sparta. Military honors will be rendered by the Sparta VFW Post 2112.

   Online condolences may be offered to Ralph’s family at

   His family would especially wish to thank Hospice nurse Jenna Severson, Social Worker Monica Thompson, and Home Health Care Ali Emerich for their compassionate care.

   Memorials may be directed to Gundersen Health System Hospice Program and/or the Woodlawn Cemetery Association.

   The Lanham-Schanhofer Funeral Home, Sparta, is assisting the family with arrangements.

Lanham-Schanhofer Funeral Home

Evans Print & Media Group

1302 River Rd.
P.O. Box 252

Sparta, WI 54656-0252

Office Number: (608) 269-3186
Fax Number: (608) 269-6876


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