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Ralph Gavic, 88

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Ralph Neil Gavic, age 88, died on July 26.

Ralph was born March 30, 1925, the son of Rudolph and Matilda (Timm) Gavic, in Spring Valley, Wis. During his youth, Ralph delivered groceries on his bicycle for Clifford Arneson. He often remarked that he had "been in every house in Spring Valley...at least, the kitchens." He graduated as valedictorian of the class of 1943 from Spring Valley High School and subsequently enrolled at UW-Madison in the Navy College Training V-12 program.

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Ralph was honorably discharged from the Navy as Seaman Second Class on July 1, 1946. Upon graduation from UW-Madison, Ralph was asked by the university to teach introductory mechanical engineering classes to veterans returning from World War II. Prior to joining his brother Vern in the engineering business, Ralph taught mathematics at the University of Minnesota. Ralph and Vern were partners in Gavic & Gavic Consulting Engineers, designing and building commercial and residential structures in Spring Valley and surrounding areas. In 1963, Ralph purchased an ownership share of The Bank of Spring Valley. He served as president of the bank for many years and retired in 2002 as chairman of the board.

Ralph married Patricia Weghorn on Feb. 10, 1951, at St. John's Lutheran Church, Spring Valley. He was a lifelong member of St. John's, frequently serving on the church council and in other volunteer capacities. Ralph was an ardent supporter of Spring Valley, serving on the village board and promoting the town in every possible way. His indomitable spirit was evident in any project or enterprise he touched.

Ralph loved his children and grandchildren, taking an active interest in anything they did. He had a great sense of humor, loved his cars, and always had a project to work on. Ralph was a very kind and gentle man who loved nothing more than to help or encourage someone else.

Ralph was preceded in death by his parents and brothers Vernon, Robert, and "Baby" Gavic.

Survivors include his wife, Patricia of Spring Valley; daughter Jill (Bill) Klanderman of Spring Valley; son Don (Diane) Gavic of Baldwin; and daughter Laurey Gavic of Menomonie; seven grandchildren, Scott Gavic, Joshua (Amanda) Feist, Jessica (Rory) O'Sullivan, Drew Gavic; Michaela Krear, Gregory (Barbara) Klanderman, and Eric (Andrea) Klanderman; and six great-grandchildren, Alistair Feist, James O'Sullivan, Amy Klanderman, Jacob Klanderman, Andrew Klanderman, and Sophia Klanderman; sister-in-law Janet Gavic of Hudson; brothers-in-law Jack (Gloria) Weghorn of Spring Valley, Richard (Barbara) Weghorn of Menomonie, and Michael (Kathleen) Weghorn of Barron; nieces, nephews and many friends.

Visitation was from 3-5 p.m. Sunday, July 28, at St. John's Lutheran Church, Spring Valley. Memorial funeral service for Ralph was at 11 a.m. Monday, July 29, at St. John's Lutheran Church, with Rev. David Larson officiating. Mary Nelson was organist, and special music was provided by organist Diane Gavic and vocalist Barry Weghorn. Ralph's grandchildren served as honorary bearers. Burial was in St. John's Lutheran Cemetery, Spring Valley.

Keehr Funeral Home, www.keehrfuneralhome.com, Spring Valley handled arrangements.

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