Ralph Merle Bortner, 98 years of age, and a resident of Amherst, passed away Tuesday, April 20, 2021 at New Life Hospice Residential Center in Lorain, following a full and meaningful life.
He was a lifetime resident of Amherst, born March 12, 1923.
Ralph proudly served in the United States Army with the 44th. Infantry Division in France and Austria. He was employed at US Steel in Lorain for forty-one years before retiring in 1982 as a General Foreman. Ralph was a member of St. Joseph Catholic Church in Amherst. He loved being a father, grandfather and great grandfather and cherished the time he spent with his family. Ralph was an expert woodworker who built many wooden memorabilia for his family. He loved traveling with his late wife Rae. In his spare time, Ralph enjoyed fishing.
Survivors include his sons, David Bortner of Elyria, Daniel Bortner of Amherst, Jeffrey Bortner (Christine) of Lorain; his grandchildren Jason, Brandi, Ryan, Carly, Lenore, Evan and Diana; his great grandchildren Jasmine, Jaden, Julius, Liam, Ledger, Milo, and two great great grandchildren.
He was preceded in death by his wife, of sixty-nine years Rae Frances Bortner on October 24, 2017; his siblings, Melvin Rufus Bortner, Raymond A. Bortner, Ruth Amelia Stang, Helen D. Marquis, Grace Matilda Urban, Irma Bortner Eicholz; and his parents, Rufus Alexander and Amelia Dorothy Bortner (nee: Rahl).
Public visitation for family and friends will be held on Sunday, April 25, 2021 from 4-6 pm at Hempel Funeral Home, Amherst. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held Monday at 10:30 a.m. at St. Joseph Catholic Church; 200 St. Joseph Drive, Amherst. The Rev. Fr. Timothy O’Connor, pastor, will officiate. Burial will follow at Calvary Cemetery, Lorain. Full Military Honors will be provided by the Amherst Veterans Military Honor Guard. Due to Covid-19, we are asking that people wear a mask and maintain social distances.
Please visit the funeral home's website to share a memory and sign the guest register, www.hempelfuneralhome.com.