Ralph J. Borel

Ralph J. Borel, 89, of Clarion passed away Wednesday, January 27, 2016 at the Clarion Wellness and Rehabilitation Center in Clarion.

Funeral services for Ralph Borel will be held at 10:30 AM on Monday, February 1, 2016 at First Lutheran Church, 420 First Street North West in Clarion, with Pastor Nicole Woodley officiating. Burial will follow at Evergreen Cemetery in Clarion.

Visitation will be held on Sunday, January 31, 2016 from 4:00 PM to 6:00 PM at Ewing Funeral Home, 1801 Central Avenue East in Clarion, and will continue one hour prior to services at the church on Monday.

Ralph Jule Borel was born in Clarion, Iowa on May 17, 1926 to Albert and Millie May (Brooks) Borel, an only child. He grew up on a Lake Township farm and attended country school and then high school in Clarion.

Ralph enlisted in the U.S. Army on November 14, 1944. His basic training was at Camp Wolters, Texas, and he served in Okinawa and occupation in Korea. He was honorably discharged at Fort Sheridan, Illinois, as a Staff Sergeant.

On October 8, 1946, Ralph married Phyllis Henriksen, also a life-long Clarionite. He began farming as a hired man and started on his own in March of 1948 in Lincoln Township. Together they raised three children on the farm. He actively farmed over 50 years. In 1958, Ralph received the Outstanding Young Farmer recognition. He served as Lincoln Township Trustee a majority of his farming years. Ralph was active in the Wright County Pork Producers, including a term as president. He also valued his nine years on the Clarion Farmers Elevator Coop Board and the eight years he served the Federal Land Bank Board. The couple moved into Clarion in 1994.

Ralph and Phyllis were avid community supporters. They were active members of First Lutheran Church beginning in 1948. Ralph served in many office and committee capacities, ending with several years on the Church Council and as a co-chair of the building and grounds committee through the 2015 year.

He was a proud lifetime member of American Legion and V.F.W. Beginning in 1979, he enjoyed being active in the Clarion Lion’s Club. He was honored with the Melvin Jones Fellow Award (Lion’s International) in 2007.

As the Heartland Museum had its very beginnings in 1999, Ralph was pleased to begin as a regular volunteer and a Museum Board of Directors member. He was fully involved in the construction and maintenance of the Museum. Ralph especially enjoyed being a tour guide, sharing the museum with others, through September 2015. He was honored in 2001 with the Museum Board of Directors Award and the ABC (Above and Beyond the Call of Duty) Award from the Clarion Chamber of Commerce.

In June 2015, Ralph was honored as a WWII Veteran and chosen as one of the Festival in the Park Grand Marshals. It was a special event.

Ralph enjoyed an active and involved life. He is remembered as a hard worker who was honest and fair. He especially valued his time with all of his family through the generations.

Ralph is survived by his three children: Jane (William) Dettman of Clarion, Michael J. Borel (Roz Faugier) of Alamo, CA and James C. (Marcia) Borel  of West Chester, PA; six grandchildren: Matthew Dettman of Mountain View, CA; Molly (Josh) Terhune of Kansas City, MO; Melissa (Andy) Gable of West Sacramento, CA; Clint (Britany) Borel of Littleton, CO; David Borel of Redwood City, CA; and Bethany Borel of Brooklyn, NY; four great-grandchildren: Ellie Terhune, Henry Terhune, Emma Gable, and Opal Borel; brother and sisters-in-law John and Doris Henriksen of East Moline, IL and Mary Ellen Henriksen of Floyds Knobs, IN; a number of nieces and nephews, other relatives and friends.

Ralph was preceded in death by his wife Phyllis in November 2009 and his parents.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to First Lutheran Church, P.O. Box 191, Clarion, IA 50525 or Heartland Museum, P.O. Box 652, Clarion, IA 50525.


Date: Sunday, January 31, 2016
Time: 4:00 pm - 6:00 pm
Where: Ewing Funeral Home – Clarion
1801 Central Avenue East, Clarion, Iowa 50525
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Date: Monday, February 1, 2016
Time: 10:30 am
Where: First Lutheran Church – Clarion
420 First Street North West, Clarion, Iowa 50525
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