Cover photo for Ralph Poehlmann's Obituary
Ralph Poehlmann Profile Photo
1937 Ralph 2018

Ralph Poehlmann

February 3, 1937 — November 11, 2018

Ralph Edward Poehlmann, 81, husband of Jeanette Sander Poehlmann, passed away on Sunday, November 11, 2018, after a courageous and spirited fight with cancer.

Visitation will be from 5:30 to 8:00 p.m. Tuesday at Memorial Oaks Chapel. The funeral service will be held at 2 p.m., Wednesday, November 14, 2018 at Salem Lutheran Church, with Pastor Charles Parnell officiating. Interment will follow in the Salem Lutheran Church Cemetery.

Ralph was born to Reinhold Frederick (R.F.) and Elsie Louise (Rodenbeck) Poehlmann on February 3, 1937 in the Pleasant Hill Community of Washington County, Texas. He was received as a child of God through Holy Baptism on March 28, 1937 by Pastor Wm.Utesch and affirmed his faith through confirmation on March 18, 1951 by Pastor W. C. Poehlmann in Salem Lutheran Church.

Ralph attended Pleasant Hill School and Brenham High School, during which time he achieved scouting’s highest award of Eagle Scout. During this time, he also belonged to the Washington Co. Roping Club and participated in showing animals in the Houston Fat Stock Show. He participated in the Brenham Maifest prior to and during his years in high school.

Ralph graduated from Brenham High School in 1956 where he lettered in football and was chosen senior class favorite. After attending Texas Lutheran University, Ralph served in the United States Army, where he went to U. S. Army Signal School at Ft. Monmouth, New Jersey, finishing his training at the top of his class. From 1959 to 1961, he was stationed at Sandia Base in Albuquerque, New Mexico as a radio maintenance operator and occasionally assisted the CIA in various investigations throughout his army service. He was a member of the Sandia Base Flying Club.

After returning home, Ralph, along with his father, maintained the family dairy, in addition to farming and ranching. On April 29, 1962,Ralph married Jeanette Sander in Salem Evangelical Lutheran Church, with Pastor G. A. Poehlmann officiating.

Ralph was accomplished in working on almost anything and was always, through tenacity, able to figure things out. He continued to take short courses in various things that needed to be learned to better run the dairy and ranch. His curiosity of how things worked always seemed to make it easy for him to learn.

Ralph was a past member of numerous organizations, serving in various past capacities, including serving on the Board of Directors for the Washington Co. Farm Bureau; president of Washington Co. National Farmers Organization; director of the Washington Co. Dairy Association; served as a delegate to the Associated Milk Producers Convention in Chicago, and served as a delegate to the State Republican Convention.

He was a past member of the Brenham Jaycees where he served as State Director and was a State Vice President and served on numerous convention committees, receiving many service awards, including Jaycee of the Year for his efforts in keeping prayer and Bible reading in schools and in space travel.

He was a certified Lauback Literacy Tutor, serving as a mentor and also served on the Brenham Independent School District Curriculum Committee.

Ralph was a lifetime member of Salem Evangelical Lutheran Church where he served in past capacities – President of the Salem Brotherhood, Chairman of the Brenham Conference; served as a Sunday School Superintendent and served as a representative on the Stewardship, Evangelism, and Social Concerns Committee. He was a member of and chairman of Men in Mission and sang in the church choir. He was a past member of the Washington Co. Heritage Society and the Washington Co. Genealogy Society. He was a past member of the Brenham Elks Lodge for 37 years, and was also a member of the Gideons.

Ralph greatly enjoyed traveling with Jeanette. They found a special joy in just being together in whatever they were doing. They enjoyed the beauty of nature; the peace and tranquility of their home. Ralph deeply loved his children, grandchildren and great-granddaughter and always looked forward to the times they were together. Ralph rarely missed an opportunity to speak to a stranger and often spoke of the gifts he saw in others.

His loving family includes his wife of 56 years, Jeanette Sander Poehlmannn; children: Lori Gail Balusek of Brenham; Ralph Todd Poehlmann of Brenham; Dana Robin and Mark Clifton Larson of Beckville, Texas; grandchildren: Michael Brandon Mobley of Pflugerville; Megan Nicole Poehlmann Jackson and husband Nicholas Grant of Kingwood; Brittany Dana Gallaher of Port Charlotte, Florida; Mollie Erin Poehlmann of Kingwood; great-granddaughter Sara Claire Jackson; sister,Joyce Poehlmann Weiss of Brenham; brother-in-law Travis (T-Ray) Sander and his wife, Cheryl, of Ft. Worth.

Other special people as part of the family are Jacqueline Collins, Theresa Allaire, Sky and Dylan Miner, Deven Starr and Alex Allaire.

Ralph was preceded in death by his parents; his parents-in-law Raymond Edward and Hilda Rose (Riechers) Sander; son-in-law, Eddie L. Balusek; his sister, Helen Mikeska Schulz; brothers-in-law, John R. Mikeske, Jr., Arthur R. Weiss, Delphine Schulz, and Henry Zientek; nephew Michael George Mikeska, and niece, Tricia Rae Sander.

Pallbearers will be Michael Brandon Mobley, William Earl Love, Mark Clifton Larson, Nicholas Grant Jackson, Waldermar Carl Poehlmann III, John Christopher Mikeska, and Luther Dale Poehlmann. Honorary pallbearers are his godchildren, members of Men-In-Mission and members of the Gideons. Special thanks are extended to the doctors and staff of M.D. Anderson, all of whom gave such great care, love and compassion to Ralph.

Ralph remained deep in his faith throughout this difficult journey with courage and peace, holding on to the promise of eternal hope of his Savior, Jesus Christ. The family appreciates all of the love and support received over this difficult time.

For those that desire, memorials may be given to Salem Lutheran Church, 1500 Church Road, Brenham; The Gideons, P.O.Box 41, Brenham, Texas 77834; Hospice Brazos Valley, 302 E. Blue Bell Road, Brenham, Tx. 77833.

Arrangements are entrusted to Memorial Oaks Chapel, 1306 W. Main, Brenham. To post a tribute to the family, visit

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Tuesday, November 13, 2018
5:30 PM - 8:00 PM

Memorial Oaks Chapel
Brenham, Texas 77833

Funeral Service

Wednesday, November 14, 2018
2:00 PM

Salem Lutheran Church
1500 Salem Road
Brenham, Tex 77833

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Ralph Poehlmann, please visit our flower store.


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