May 30, 1920 - November 17, 2021
Ralph Engel Probert died at dawn on November 17, 2021, at the age of 101. He was born on May 30, 1920, in Salem, Ohio to Paul R. Probert and Alma (Engel) Probert. At that time, May 30 was called Decoration Day. The name was changed to Memorial Day in 1938, the year Ralph graduated from Salem High School. He enrolled at Purdue University, School of Mechanical Engineering, in the fall of 1938. He left Purdue in 1942 to enlist in the U.S. Navy during World War II. He served as an electrician’s mate aboard a repair and salvage ship sailing off the coast of China. When he completed his service, he returned to Purdue to finish his course work and he received his diploma in 1944. He met his lifelong love and wife, Evelyn Louise (Cleavelin) Probert at Purdue. They celebrated sixty-two years of marriage until her passing in 2005. After returning from the war, he began a career in engineering. He was involved in the design, manufacture, and testing of electromagnetic relays; he was awarded a patent for one of them. Another relay he designed was used in the controls of one of the rockets in the NASA Apollo program. After his retirement, and until her passing, Evelyn and he spent time traveling throughout the Midwest and the South. They enjoyed dogs, especially Rottweilers, and musical stage shows. After Evelyn’s passing, Ralph began his second career as a volunteer in the hospital pharmacy at St. Mary’s Medical Center (now St. Vincent’s). He served many fruitful and enjoyable hours from 2005 until 2020, when the Covid pandemic closed all volunteer operations at the hospital. He dearly loved his time there and considered the staff as family. Ralph maintained an independent life until close to the end. He stayed active riding his bicycle, surfing the Internet on his iPad and iPhone, reading, working word puzzles, and visiting family. He was an avid golfer and he had weekly “tournaments” with the late Father Jim Brune. At age 95, he attended a practice round at the Masters and he realized a dream of walking the fairways of Augusta National. He was an active parishioner at St. John the Evangelist Church in Daylight, Indiana, and he served as a eucharistic minister at St. Mary’s Hospital for many years. He was also a Kentucky Colonel. He was preceded in death by his parents, his wife, and his only sibling, his sister, Jane (Probert) Bowers. He is survived by his sons, Richard C. Probert, M.D. (Sheila) and James P. Probert (Michelle), six grandchildren, and eleven great-grandchildren. His great niece, Tracy Neeley, and her husband, Mike, provided him loving companionship and care throughout the years. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held on Saturday, November 20, 2021, at 10:00 a.m. at St. John the Evangelist Church in Daylight, 5301 Daylight Dr., Evansville 47725 with Father Chris Forler officiating. Burial will follow at Locust Hill Cemetery. He requested no flowers. Donations in his memory may be made to The Sisters of Saint Benedict, 802 E. 10th Street, Ferdinand, IN 47532 or the charity of your choice. The family extends its heartfelt and deep gratitude to the staff of Heart To Heart Hospice and Holiday Retirement Village for their compassionate care of Ralph. Condolences may be made online to www.ziemerfuneralhome.com.
Ralph Engel Probert died at dawn on November 17, 2021, at the age of 101. He was born on May 30, 1920, in Salem, Ohio to Paul R. Probert and Alma (Engel) Probert. At that time, May 30 was called Decoration Day. The name was changed to Memorial... View Obituary & Service Information
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