Ralph Stanley Kraehnke, born May 28, 1944, in Lake Mills, WI. He spent his child hood in Jefferson, WI with his parents and brother Ron. Ralph had a love of music growing up. He played the saxophone in the high school band. He was also an avid singer and was part the choir. He and his brother would also perform together quite often as well. One of his prized possessions was his player piano that brought him great joy especially when family and friends would come to visit and sing together.
In 1965, he met his wife Joyce (nee Wiedendhoeft) though Norma and Wayne, each their roommates at the time, on a blind date. A year later, he proposed and they were married October 14, 1967. They had 3 children, Mary, Scott and Jeff and enjoyed 47 happy years together until Joyce passed away from pancreatic cancer in June 2015.
In college, Ralph found that he was well suited for management and sales while working and eventually managing the UW Whitewater book store. He continued this passion by opening a White Hen Pantry convenience store near Brown Deer, WI in 1972. He and Joyce worked full time for the next 13 years there until they decided to sell in 1985.
Needing a change, he got his real estate license and began working for Kirchen Reality. On the side, he started to dabble in rental properties. After a few years of this, he decided that he would focus more on the rental properties and began buying properties around the northwest side of Milwaukee which he would rehab and rent or sell. His sons still manage and maintain some of the original properties that he owned.
Over the years, Ralph and Joyce travelled extensively. He made sure that the family took a vacation at least once a year while the kids were younger allowing them to see so much of the country. They also travelled with good friends Bob and Joyce Stubbs going to Europe and Florida and places in-between over the years.
Ralph is survived by his children Mary, Scott and Jeff Kraehnke. He is preceded in death by his wife Joyce, his brother Ron, and his parents Stanley and Betty.
In lieu of flowers, memorials appreciated to the American Diabetic Association.
Visitation at Krause Funeral Home, 21600 West Capitol Drive, Brookfield, Wisconsin on Wednesday, May 10th, from 10:00 AM until time of the service at 12:00 PM.