Ralph Edward Houseman, 95|
Attorney Ralph Edward Houseman was born to eternal life on Feb. 13,
2012, surrounded by his loving children.
Ralph is reunited with his precious wife, Jeanne; his adored parents,
Richard and Hilda; and older brother, Oliver. He is deeply mourned by
his beloved children, Mary (partner Janis Shogren), son Ralph, Kathy
Houseman-Rostad (husband Richard); treasured granddaughter, Alana Day
Rostad; special loving family, Mary Jane Eichman and Lee Adrian; law
partners and staff at Houseman and Feind (especially Robert Feind and
Carolyn Picciolo); Pastor Tim Perkins; extended family and friends
who enriched Ralph’s life.
Ralph was born to this life on July 29, 1916, in La Porte, Ind. His
earliest memories were of horse-drawn carriages, Model T Fords and
silent movies. During the height of the Great Depression, the family
settled in Milwaukee. Ralph graduated from Washington High School in
1933. He pursued his passion for journalism by enrolling in the
College of Journalism at Marquette University then decided on a
career in law.
Ralph was an accomplished public speaker and a member of the
Marquette intercollegiate debate team. He was involved in politics
and, prior to the attack on Pearl Harbor, an active member of the
American First Committee. In 1939, at the age of 22, he graduated
from Marquette’s School of Law and began the practice of law in the
then rural hamlet of Grafton.
When war broke out, Ralph answered the call to service and joined the
United States Navy. In the Navy, he trained at Columbia University
and Harvard Business School. Ralph served with honor as a second
lieutenant on board the USS Bogue CVE9, an aircraft carrier that
engaged in anti-submarine and convoy duty. He served in the North
Atlantic and the Pacific; then joined the occupation forces in Japan.
Ralph was discharged when the war ended and was recalled to active
duty during the Korean War.
In 1948, Ralph married the love of his life, his wife of nearly 62
years, Jeanne Roxanna Mc Mahan. They lived in Thiensville and became
devoted parents to three children. Ralph practiced law in Grafton for
over 70 years and worked well into his 90th year. He served with
distinction as village attorney for Thiensville and Grafton, attorney
for the Grafton School District, on the board of directors of the
former Deaconess, Good Samaritan and Sinai Samaritan hospitals, the
board of directors for Grafton State Bank and the League of Wisconsin
Municipalities, president of the Ozaukee County Bar Association and
church elder at Bethel Bethany United Church of Christ. He was a
proud World War II veteran and member of Rose- Harms American Legion
In addition to his many gifts and accomplishments, Ralph possessed a
remarkably humble nature and a quiet, gentle, dignified presence. He
was kind and giving; performing countless acts of charity and
compassion in his long life. Ralph cultivated a deep faith and lived
his life in an authentic Christian manner. He was witty and
intelligent; conversant about current events (especially politics)
and the long history which he had lived.
As he aged, Ralph showed an amazing strength of character and
persistent determination. He was a living inspiration to his family
as well as a wise sage and mentor to his law partners.
A celebration of Ralph’s life was held at at Lumen Christi Catholic
Church, 138 Buntrock Ave., Thiensville, on Feb. 18. Interment was
held at Resurrection Cemetery, Mequon.
Contributions to the Lumen Christi School Endowment Fund in both
Ralph and Jeanne’s memory are greatly appreciated.
He is now at peace in the arms of his loving Creator.
Schramka-Densow Funeral Home in Thiensville has served the family.
For online condolences, please visit www.schramka-densow.com.