Ralph Williams Symonds, 98
Ralph William Symonds age 98 of Nashua, IA, died Monday, August 26, 2019, at his home surrounded by his family.
Funeral service will be held 11:00 a.m. on Friday, August 30, 2019 at The Little Brown Church in Nashua, IA with Rev. Drew McHolm presiding. Interment will follow at Riverton Cemetery in Rural Floyd County.
Friends may greet the family from 4:00 - 6:00 p.m. on Thursday, August 29, 2019 at Hugeback-Johnson Funeral Home & Crematory -- Olson Chapel in Nashua, IA. Visitation continues an hour prior to the service on Friday at the church.
Ralph was born on March 3, 1921 to Fred and Mabel (DeTien) Symonds on the family farm in Floyd County, Riverton Township, where he spend the majority of his life. He attended rural school and graduated from Charles City High School in 1938. After graduation he worked at the Oliver Plant several years before entering the Army in 1942. Ralph served in the Pacific Theater during World War II in Alaska (Army Air Corp), the Philippines and Japan, where he was headed when the bomb was dropped. After arriving in Japan, one of Ralph's duties was to drive offices into Hiroshima to view the destruction.
Ralph loved life on his farm, a farmer for over 70 years. He said once that he had been to many places around the world but there was no place anywhere to compare to his home in Iowa. Ralph was an accomplished mechanic, never turning away a friend who needed help. Other than farming, Ralph held several other jobs. He was the foreman for the City of Nashua for a time and also Nashua's Wastewater Treatment Operator where he was recognized in 1983 as the outstanding operator for the state of Iowa.
Ralph loved his life, his family, friends and his farm. He especially enjoyed visiting with friends and all things mechanical, restoring and using antique engines and machinery to harvest crops as in the past.
Ralph was united in marriage to Vivian Graeser in Cumberland, Iowa on September 3, 1966. They enjoyed 46 years of marriage before Vivian passed away in 2013.
Ralph is survived by his five step-children; Les Graeser of Nashua, IA; Sheryl (Jeff) Hinton of Nashua, IA, Teresa Fisher of Nashua, IA; Cloria Cerwinske of De Soto, WI, Cory (Partner Doug Perry) Graeser of Minneapolis; many grandchildren.
He was preceded in death by his wife Vivian; parents Fred and Mabel Symonds; three siblings, Melvin Symonds, Isabelle Dorwin, Margaret Druehl.
Hugeback-Johnson Funeral Home & Crematory -- Olson Chapel is in charge of arrangements.