Ralph J. Hammerbeck


Ralph J. Hammerbeck, age 90, passed away Monday, May 1, 2023, peacefully, in his sleep, at home with his loving wife, Merna, by his side.

Ralph was born March 25, 1933, in Superior, WI, the son of Howard and Ebba (Nelson) Hammerbeck. He graduated from Superior Central High School in 1951 and attended UW-Superior. Ralph was drafted by the Army and served our Country in the Korean War.

He began his working career with Enbridge (formerly Lakehead Pipeline Company) as an Office Boy during college. During his 41-year career with Enbridge, Ralph held many positions, retiring in 1993 as the Superior Area District Manager.

Immediately after retirement, Ralph and Merna spent many years traveling throughout the US, Canada & Mexico in their motorhome, seeing many places and making friends everywhere they went.

Ralph was an avid outdoorsman, he loved both hunting and fishing, something he passed along to his boys and his grandson Adam.

He also enjoyed golfing with his beautiful wife, woodworking, photography, gardening, and making the best homemade Swedish rye bread, something he shared with many neighbors and friends. A very special memory, with both his children and grandchildren, was his batch of homemade root beer every Christmas. And Ralph never missed an episode of Lawrence Welk.

Ralph is survived by his beloved wife of 68 years, Merna; one daughter, Cathi Miller (Dave Poppy); two sons, Keith (Shawn) Hammerbeck and Tom Hammerbeck; six grandchildren, Xina (Erastus) Togba, Ali (Bill) Sluis, Robert Martinez, Adam (Melanie) Hammerbeck, Katelyn (Bronson) Stelzer, and Ash Hammerbeck (Chelsea Unold); and seven great-grandsons. He is also survived by his sister Gloria Neuman, and many nieces and nephews.

Ralph was preceded in death by his parents and infant son, Blair.

Visitation will begin at noon on Thursday, May 11, 2023, at Duluth Bible Church, 201 W. St. Andrews St., Duluth, MN 55803, and will continue until the 1:00 pm Memorial Service with Pastor Tom Stegall officiating, followed by a light lunch.

In remembrance of Ralph’s life, the family asks that any charitable donations be made to Duluth Bible Church specifically for the Mission Program.

The Family extends special thanks to Lyle & Pam of Helping Hands; Danielle and others from St. Luke’s Home Health Care; Chloe and the team at Benedictine; and the nursing staff at Essentia Health for the exceptional care given to Ralph.

The Lenroot-Maetzold Funeral Home, 1209 E. 5th Street, Superior, is assisting the family with arrangements. To leave a condolence or sign the guestbook, please visit

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