Ralph Droege 90, passed away on Tuesday, November 24, 2020 at Ripley Crossing. He was born Wednesday, April 30, 1930 to Edwin and Luella (Donselman) Droege and was brought to his Savior through the water and the Word of baptism of the same year. He attended St. John’s Lutheran School where he received an excellent education, both in God’s Word and in secular subjects. On April 2, 1944, he was publicly confirmed in his Christian faith at St. John’s Lutheran Church.
Upon graduation from Dillsboro High School, Ralph attended Concordia Teachers College in River Forest, Illionis, graduating with a bachelor’s degree in elementary education. Due to a teacher shortage, he taught two years before attaining his degree at St. Paul’s Lutheran School in Wilson, Texas. Upon receiving his degree, he taught six more years at St. Paul’s, which at first was a one-room school, but later when a second teacher was needed, he taught the upper grades. In 1959, he accepted to call to Redeemer Lutheran Church in Odessa, Texas to develop a Lutheran School there. During the six years of his tenure there, he taught at various grade levels depending upon the need.
In 1965, Ralph accepted a call to serve as administrator-at large of three predominately black Lutheran elementary schools in New Orleans, Louisiana. Upon arrival there, hurricane Betsy destroyed one school, flooded a second school, and left one intact. After two years, he received and accepted a call to teach high school and junior college at Alabama Lutheran Academy and College in Selma, Alabama. During his time there (1967-1995), the school grew into a four-year college which was renamed Concordia College. Ralph earned a doctorate in education psychology from the University of Alabama, and he received an honorary doctorate from Concordia Teachers College in Seward, Nebraska, as well as a Spiritus Christi award from his alma mater, Concordia University.
Upon his retirement in 1995, Ralph moved to Farmers Retreat where he joined the church of his youth. He served as one of the organists and played at St. Paul Lutheran Church in Dewberry, too. In his free time, he enjoyed reading, traveling, singing, and directing the church choir.
Ralph is survived by two sisters: Ruth Tebbing of Olean, Indiana and Jessica Sanford of Clarksville, Tennessee; one nephew David (Carrie) Tebbing; and one niece Bonnie (Keith) Niehaus.
Ralph’s confirmation verse is John 3:16: “For God so loved the world that He gave His only Begotten Son that whosoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.”
A memorial service will be held at the convenience of the family. Memorials may be given in honor of Ralph to St. John’s Lutheran Church or St. Paul Haiti Mission. Filter-DeVries-Moore Funeral Home, Box 146, Dillsboro, IN 47018, (812)432-5480 has been entrusted with arrangements. Please reach out through our website at www.filterdevriesmoore.com to leave an online condolence message or a memory of Ralph for the family.
Due to the Governor’s new mandate, only 25 people will be allowed in the funeral home at one time. Social distancing should be observed, and masks must be worn inside.