Ralph Whittenburg, 1939-2018


Ralph Whittenburg, age 79, passed away on December 19, 2018 in Indianapolis, IN. Born to Ralph and Bertha Whittenburg on June 6, 1939, Ralph grew up in New Carlisle, IN. He is survived by his wife, Sarah Whittenburg; his daughter, Marci (Peter) Harris; and son, Mark (Dawn) Whittenburg. Ralph took great delight in his grandchildren: Robert, Rebecca, and Caleb Harris, and Jessica and Thomas Whittenburg. He is also survived by his siblings, Robert Whittenburg and Janice Howe.

After graduating from high school, Ralph served two years in the U.S. Army at Fort Riley, Kansas. He was the first in his family to go to college, earning a degree in accounting from Purdue.

Ralph worked at Koinonia Farm in Georgia for a period of time, where he became friends with another young couple, Millard and Linda Fuller. Ralph set up the first accounting system for their fledgling nonprofit organization, Habitat for Humanity. It was a lifelong friendship, and after retirement, Ralph volunteered his accounting skills at the Fuller Center for Housing.

Ralph spent the majority of his working life as the financial controller for the People of Praise Christian Community. He was on the leadership team that founded Trinity School and was instrumental in the process of its gaining accreditation. Collectively, the three Trinity campuses have earned ten U.S. Department of Education Blue Ribbon awards for excellence.

Ralph lived in Indianapolis the last four years with his daughter as he journeyed through progressive Frontal Temporal Dementia. He still recognized family but lost his ability to communicate. He took great delight in serving others during this time—helping at home as well as Spirit of Joy Church and Still Waters Adult Day Center.

Above all else, Ralph’s faith permeated his life, both in his actions and in his relationships. While we grieve for the hole left in our lives, we rest assured that he was greeted with “Well done, good and faithful servant!”

Graveside service and burial were held at 10:00am on Sunday, December 23, 2018 at New Carlisle Cemetery in New Carlisle, IN. Pastor Ken Peterson officiated.

In Ralph’s memory, donations may be made to Trinity School at Greenlawn, 107 S. Greenlawn Avenue, South Bend, IN 46617; The Fuller Center for Housing, P.O. Box 523, Americus, GA 31709; or Still Waters Adult Day Center, 7160 Shadeland Station, Indianapolis, IN 46256.

Online condolences may be left for the Whittenburg family at www.palmerfuneralhomes.com.

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