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Ralph Marthaler

Jan. 13, 1930-Oct. 11, 2008

Ralph H. Marthaler, 78, Detroit Lakes, died Saturday, October 11, 2008 at his home, under the care of Hospice of the Red River Valley.

Ralph Henry Marthaler, known as "Shorty, " was born to Alix and Mary (Bonemeyer) Marthaler on Jan. 13, 1930 in rural Mahnomen County, where he was raised and educated. He served with the U.S. Navy. Shorty married Karen Jensen in Aberdeen, S.D., on Aug. 30, 1974. They lived in Crookston prior to moving to Detroit Lakes in 1979. During his working life, Shorty operated Shorty's Repair, worked for the Detroit Country Club and managed an apartment building for 18 years.

He enjoyed fishing, motorcycles and bantering with other people.

Shorty is survived by his wife, Karen Marthaler of Detroit Lakes; son, Mike (LuAnn) Marthaler of Denver, Colo.; daughter, Lynn (Kevin) Tiedeman of Grand Junction, Colo.; three stepsons, John Gonzales of Brownton, Minn., Martin (Deanna) Pepper of Lake Park and Gary (Sue) Pepper of Callaway; two stepdaughters, Leah (Keith) Watkins of Erhard, Minn., and Susan (Doug) Latvola of Princeton, Minn.; 12 grandchildren; six great grandchildren; as well as two sisters, Irma Elfring of Lakeville, Minn., and Angie Field in Washington State.

Preceding Ralph in death were his parents; a sister, Helen; brothers, Clarence, Bernard and an infant brother, Elmer.

Funeral services are scheduled for 2 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 16 at the David-Donehower Funeral Home in Detroit Lakes, with the Rev. Jerry Rogers officiating. Friends may call at the funeral home one hour prior to the service on Thursday.

The David-Donehower Funeral Home in Detroit Lakes is serving the family. Online guest registration is available at