Ralph Lentz Obituary
Ralph Joseph Lentz, 88, of Lake City, passed away Sunday, Oct. 1, 2017 at Mayo Clinic Health System - Lake City Care Center.
He was born on June 20, 1929 to John and Anna (Oevermann) Lentz in Sauk Centre, Minn. He graduated from high school in 1947. He enlisted in the United States Army and served during the Korean War from 1951-1953. After his honorable discharge, he attended the University of Minnesota where he graduated in 1958. He married Geraldine Kampmann on June 21, 1958 and they later divorced. Ralph’s first teaching position was in Henderson, Minn. as an earth science teacher. He moved to Lake City in 1965 and bought a farm outside of town. He was an agricultural teacher as well as the advisor to the Future Farmers of America at Lincoln High School for 30 years. Ralph retired from teaching in 1988.
Ralph was passionate about grass farming and was a pioneer in the industry in Minnesota. He led the way studying, demonstrating, and implementing rotational grazing management in a sustainable agriculture system. Ralph spent time in Russia teaching students about American farming methods and focused on sharing the information on sustainable farming with them. In 1990, he served as the chair of the Minnesota Farming Association. He also was the state chair of the Grazing Lands Conservation Institute in 1995. Ralph was awarded the Outstanding Conservationist in 2013 by the Minnesota Association of Soil and Water Conservation District. Ralph will be remembered as a teacher, father, grass farmer, veteran, grandfather, fisherman, Boundary Waters explorer, canoeist, devoted friend, observer of nature, and a continuous learner.
Ralph is survived by two sons, Michael Lentz of Red Wing and Kevin Lentz of Ann Arbor, Mich.; three daughters, Deborah (Richard Andres) Lentz of Chelsea, Mich., Julie (Steve) Prigge of Lake City and Lisa Lentz of Ann Arbor, Mich.; five grandchildren, Nick (Tesla Noreen) and Alex Krause of Lake City, Miles and Corey Lentz of Eugene, Ore., and Ariana Andres of Chelsea, Minn.; four great-grandchildren; and one sister, Jeanette Degenaar of Eagan, Minn. He was preceded in death by his ex-wife, Gerrie Lentz, four sisters and one brother.
A memorial mass will be Thursday, Oct. 5, at 11 a.m. at St. Mary of the Lake Catholic Church in Lake City with Rev. Msgr. Robert Meyer officiating. Visitation will be Wednesday, Oct. 4, from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. at Mahn Family Funeral Home, Anderson-Peterson Chapel in Lake City and one hour prior to the service at the church on Thursday.
Mahn Family Funeral Home, Anderson-Peterson Chapel is helping the family with arrangements. Online condolences can be sent to www.mahnfamilyfuneralhome.com.