Ralph E. Watts

AURELIA – Public graveside services for Ralph E. Watts, 80, of Aurelia will be at 10 a.m., Tuesday, July 14, 2020, at Woodlawn Cemetery in Alta.

Public visitation will be 4-7 p.m., Monday, July 13, at Fratzke & Jensen Funeral Home in Alta. The family is requesting facemasks be worn during visitation, due to COVID-19. Fratzke & Jensen Funeral Home in Alta is in charge of arrangements.

He died July 9, 2020, at Cherokee Regional Medical Center in Cherokee.

Ralph Eugene Watts, son of Guy and Lavon “Bonnie” (Blake) Watts, was born May 27, 1940, in Storm Lake. As an infant, Ralph was baptized at Alta United Methodist Church and later confirmed in the same church.

He attended school in Alta and graduated from Alta High School in 1958. He then attended Southern State Teachers’ College in Springfield, S.D., for two years.

On Feb. 26, 1963, Ralph enlisted in the U.S. Army. He served during the Vietnam War and was a specialist. He was honorably discharged Feb. 25, 1969.

On April 4, 1965, Ralph married Loreen Friedrichsen. They were blessed with three children: Dawn, Charlotte and Clinton. They later divorced.

On June 6, 1987, Ralph married Diane Braun at Aurelia United Methodist Church. He gained two children, Misty and Brian.

For most of his working career, Ralph worked at a bank and telephone company. He was a jack-of-all-trades and enjoyed working numerous other jobs. He farmed for over 20 years with his dad. He retired from the telephone company in 2002, but continued to farm part-time.

Ralph was very active in his community and was a member of American Legion Post #390 in Aurelia, SERPACI, Little Sioux Red Power and Antique Automobile Club of America.

He also participated almost every year in the Albert City Threshermen and Collectors’ Show. Ralph was also a long-time member of Aurelia United Methodist Church and served as treasurer for many years.

In his free time, Ralph enjoyed restoring antiques, working on old motors, going to his kids’ and grandkids’ activities, and farming. He also liked to travel with his wife, Diane. They went on numerous cruises.

Above all, family was Ralph’s top priority. He served as a rock for all, offering wise words and support. He was blessed with a gentle soul and patient ear. He always took time to listen to his family and others.

His encouraging words were highly regarded by many, and he left a grand legacy. He will be deeply missed by all who knew and loved him.

Left to cherish his memory are his wife, Diane Watts of Aurelia; and his children: Dawn (Clark) Voge of Cherokee; Charlotte (Christopher) Quinney of Hickory, N.C.; Clinton Watts of Readlyn; Misty (Joseph) Daum of Cherokee; and Brian (Jessica) Watts of Riverside.

Also surviving are his brothers: Jim (Connie) Watts of Storm Lake and Burdette (Janette) Watts of Spencer, and his grandchildren: Ashley (fiance, Monte Flaugh) Gehrts of Larrabee; Adam Gehrts of Aurelia; Melanie (Todd) Bauer of Holstein; Amber (Tyler) Pearson of Cleghorn; Connor Voge of Sioux City; Dawson Voge of Cherokee; Dale Tibbetts of Cedar Falls; Travis Tibbetts of Wilmington, N.C.; Allison Daum and Madison Daum, both of Cherokee; and Evan Watts of Riverside.

Additional survivors include his great-granddaughter, Lydia Pearson; his mother-in-law, Rosemary Braun of Orange City; extended family and friends.

Ralph was preceded in death by his parents; his father-in-law, Leo Braun; his granddaughter, Tatum Tibbetts; and his great-granddaughter, Olivia Bauer.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorials be given to later distribute to Ralph's favorite organizations.

Visit Fratzke & Jensen Funeral Home here.