Ralph was born May 1, 1920 on the family farm south of Waterloo, the son of Charles and Mary Grady. Ralph grew up on the farm and graduated from Orange High School in 1938.
Ralph married Anna Mae Deits September 21, 1942, at Grace Brethren Church in Waterloo. They farmed together in Orange Township until moving to town in 1980.
Ralph was owner and operator of Grady Farms Dairy from 1961-1976. Ralph was a faithful leader in the church by teaching the Home Builders Sunday School Class and other Bible studies. Until just a few days before his death, he enjoyed reciting verses and entire chapters of the Bible from memory.
Many young men’s lives were impacted by Ralph and Anna Mae’s caring arms that brought them into the family to work and learn. Ralph was on the board of Trustees for Grace College and Theological Seminary in Winona Lake, Indiana, and was active in various community organizations and clubs.
He enjoyed collecting various antiques, including many old John Deere tractors.
Ralph and Anna Mae began a church ministry in 1980 in the retirement park where they resided in Fort Myers, Florida. Ralph loved calling on the sick and shut-ins. Ralph prayed diligently every day for each child, grandchild, their spouses and all the great-grandchildren by name, as well as scores of missionaries.
Ralph is survived by his four children, 13 grandchildren, and 13 great-grandchildren – daughter Donna Mae (Tom) Miller of Winona Lake, IN, and their children Annette Coenen, Tami Miller and Amy Miller; son Tom (Jane) Grady of Alpharetta, GA, and their children Janet (Randy) Darden, Jenny (Michael) Barker, Toby (Katie) Grady, Jamie Grady; son Jim (Jeanette) Grady of Waterloo, and their children Stephanie (Jon) Moseley, Matthew (Athena) Grady; daughter Betty Anne (Kyle) Bergen of Dallas, GA, and their children Ben (Anna) Bergen, Elizabeth (Jason) Flowers, Katie (Chris)Torres, Charlie (Maggie) Bergen.
Ralph was preceded in death by his wife Anna Mae on January 2, 2004, his parents, his brother Lawrence, and sister Bernita Chisum.
Services are set for 2:00 p.m. Monday, June 2, 2008, at Grace Brethren Church, 1760 Williston Ave. Visitation is from 3:00 to 7:00 p.m. Sunday, June 1, 2008, at Locke Funeral Home. Burial will be in the Orange Township Cemetery, Waterloo, Iowa, and memorials may be made to Grace Brethren Church or Friendship Village.