Ralph Buch, 84, of Merrill, went to be with his Lord and Savior on May 23, 2023, at Aspirus Wausau Hospital. Ralph was born December 16, 1938, to Willie and Ella (Moeck) Buch. He graduated from Wausau East High School in 1957. Ralph joined the Army Reserves and spent six long months in Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri. He couldn’t wait to get back home to farm with his grandpa Buch. Ralph married Phyllis ‘Phyl’ Osness on October 3, 1970, and they farmed together for thirty years before retiring in 2000. After selling the cattle, Ralph worked in the woods with his brother, Allen, logging and making firewood. He also drove bus for Harold’s Charter. Ralph was a member of Faith Lutheran Church, Village of Maine, and he enjoyed being involved in church. He was President and Elder for many years. He and Phyl were chairmen of the church Fund Raising Committee, collecting newspapers and cardboard and holding chicken bar-b-q’s and chili dinners. One activity Ralph and Phyl enjoyed was bowling in two couples’ leagues with their friends Don and Elaine Hoff. They also enjoyed playing Poker, Sheepshead, Samba, and Cribbage with many dear friends to this day. After his stroke in 2021, Ralph called this time spent with friends “therapy”. They played poker for over 50 years with Don and Elaine Hoff and Wilbert and Mavis Voelz. They enjoyed playing Sheepshead for 40 years and continued to play with Willie and Karen Schult, Roger and Darlene Bade, and Ethel Natzke. They played Samba (similar to Canasta) with many other couples. Ralph decided to develop a “score card’ to keep track of each group (boys against girls). You got a “fence post” if you won and the topic of conversation was “Who’s ahead!”
Survivors include his wife, Phyllis ‘Phyl’ Buch of Merrill; brothers, Jerome (Judy) Buch of Irma, and Jeff (Sandy) Buch of Merrill; sisters-in-law, Phyllis Buch of Merrill, Betty Latzig of Merrill, Elayne (Richard) Ollmann of Merrill, Janet Beyer-Thums of Merrill, Darlene Osness of Wausau, Carol Osness of Merrill, Carol Osness of Merrill; nephew, Chris Buch; and nieces, Amy Krenz, Audrey Voigt, Jarrah Buch, Megan Ek, and Lindsey Steinagel. Ralph was preceded in death by his parents, Willie and EllaBuch; and brother, Allen Buch.
The funeral service for Ralph will be held at 11:00 A.M., Saturday, June 3, 2023, at Faith Lutheran Church, Village of Maine. Rev. Donald Love and Rev. Allen Behnke will officiate. Interment will take place at Faith Lutheran Church Cemetery- West, Town of Scott, Lincoln County. The visitation will be from 4:00 P.M. until 6:00 P.M., Friday June 2, 2023, and after 9:00 A.M. Saturday, June 3, 2023, all at the church. Taylor-Stine Funeral Home & Cremation Services, Merrill, is assisting the family. Online condolences may be made at www.taylorstinefuneralhome.com