Ralph R. Staven

Ralph R. Staven, 89, a devoted husband, father, grandfather and great-grandfather, joined his beloved wife, Joan (nee Deil) Staven, in heaven Wednesday, Nov. 16, 2011.

He was born in Waukesha on Nov. 20, 1921, to Richard R. and Maybell (nee Kluge) Staven. He served during World War II as a pilot in the U.S. Marine Corps in the Philippines and Okinawa. During his service, he flew 82 combat missions, earning multiple air medals including the Distinguished Flying Cross (2) and the Presidential United Citation. Ralph was a graduate of Carroll College, served as a trustee in the 1980s and continued his support as an alumnus throughout his life. His banking career began in 1947 with Waukesha Savings and Loan, where he spent 53 years as CEO, president and chairman, taking it from its original one location through multiple mergers to become First Financial Bank (now Associated Banc Corp.). He remained on the board of directors until he retired in April 2000. He served on multiple financial institution boards, including the Federal Home Loan Bank Board of Chicago and of Washington, D.C., in the 1970s. Ralph was dedicated to the Waukesha community and served on multiple community, civic and professional organizations throughout his career, earning him the tag "Mr. Waukesha" when he retired. His retirement years were spent in Scottsdale, Ariz., where he and his wife, Joan, enjoyed golf, friends and family.

Ralph is survived by his brother, LaVier Staven of Kansas; his children, Mark (Renee), Gary (Jean) and David of Waukesha and Mary Beth (Stephen) Canham of Arizona; his five grandchildren, Lisa, Julie and Michael (Katie) Sabend and Jason (Mary Jo) and Josh (Shannon) Canham; and his five great-grandchildren, Tyler, Zachary, Chloe and Cole Canham and Logan Sabend. He will be greatly missed by his family and friends in both Wisconsin and in Arizona.

A funeral Mass was held in Scottsdale on Nov. 23.

There will be a vigil for family and friends from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Friday, Dec. 9, at Randle-Dable-Brisk Funeral Home, 1110 S. Grand Ave., Waukesha. A private graveside service with full military honors will be held at St. Joseph’s Catholic Cemetery on Saturday, Dec. 10.

In lieu of flowers, family requests donations in his memory to the Ralph and Joan Staven Family Fund, c/o Waukesha County Community Fund (WCCF), 2727 N. Grandview Blvd., Suite 122, Waukesha, WI 53188, to benefit the community they served and loved throughout their lives.

For further information, please call Randle-Dable-Brisk Funeral, Cremation and Preplanning Services at 547-4035 or go to for directions or to leave the family an online tribute message.