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Ralph Donald SpringfieldApril 22, 1935 ~ July 21, 2017 (age 82)
Ralph Donald Springfield, 82, of Grand Haven, Michigan, passed away peacefully and comfortably into the arms of Jesus on July 21st, 2017. Ralph was born April 22nd, 1935 in Detroit, Michigan, the only child of the late Leslie and Rachel Springfield. He is survived by his loving wife of 59 years, Sally (Boyd). Ralph also leaves behind a son, Mark (Phyllis), of Royal Oak, MI, and two daughters, Lesley (Joseph) Murphy and Marjorie Young of Grand Haven. Ralph is also survived by seven grandsons and a granddaughter; Keegan, Justin, Andrew and Sam Springfield; Joseph and Casey Murphy; and Matthew and Charlie Young, and a sister-in-law, Suzanne Kearney Moon of Arizona.
Ralph graduated from Garden City High School in 1953, and Alma College in 1957. An accomplished athlete, Ralph played baseball, football and basketball in college, and he fulfilled a childhood dream in 1954 when he pitched several games in the Detroit Tigers farm team system. He continued playing sports his entire adult life. Ralph had a particular passion for golf, playing each day during the summer months in two local adult leagues, he initiated and frequented, at the Fruitport Golf Course until last spring. On November 9, 2010, Ralph reached the Holy Grail of golf when he joined the Hole in One club at Diamond Springs Golf Course. He really, really enjoyed telling that story.
Ralph began his teaching and coaching career with stints in Kent City, and Pontiac, MI, where he taught high school history and English. Ralph then began a long and enjoyable career in the Livonia Public Schools in 1961, until he retired in 1994 as the Athletic Director. While teaching, Ralph attended Michigan State University, University of Michigan and Eastern Michigan University, where he earned a Master’s Degree in Education.
Ralph and Sally retired to Ludington, MI, before moving to Grand Haven in 1997. He volunteered on the Grand Haven Airport Board of Directors and delivered Meals on Wheels for many years. He was an active member of Covenant Life Church in Grand Haven for 20 years.
Ralph was a self-taught and very talented artist. He spent countless hours creating fish and wildlife carvings, many of which were featured at The Uptown Gallery of Grand Haven. Ralph was a gentle man as well as a gentleman. He loved animals, especially his many dogs. Ralph was a loving husband, father and grandfather, and a friend to all. He will be missed but fondly remembered. A graveside service will be held for family at a later date.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions can be made to Hospice of Michigan, or Harbor Humane Society of West Olive. A special thank you to the staff at Riverside Nursing Home for their loving care and support. Arrangements by Klaassen Family Funeral Home.
Harbor Humane Society
14345 Bagley Street, West Olive MI 49460
Hospice of Michigan
989 Spaulding SE, Ada MI 49301