Island Cremations & Funeral Home ~ Merritt Island, Florida ~ 321-454-3331

Obituaries

RALPH STEWART LOTSPEICH SR

June 27, 1929 - June 24, 2020

U.S. Veteran

A Celebration of Life for family and friends will be held at a future date. In lieu of flowers, donations in Ralph’s memory may be made to the Hospice of St. Francis, Inc., hospiceofstfrancis.org or the Brevard Humane Society, brevardhumanesociety.org.

 

Ralph Stewart Lotspeich Sr., 90, of Merritt Island, Florida passed away on June 24. Ralph is survived by Roberta, his loving wife of 65 years. Ralph was a resident of Merritt Island for 57 years. He was born in Alliance, Nebraska to Ralph E. and Hazel A. Lotspeich. In 1951, Ralph graduated from Iowa State University, where he was a member of Delta Upsilon Fraternity. He received a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering. Immediately thereafter, he was drafted into the United States Army in which he served for two years. During that time, he met Roberta in Baltimore, Maryland where they married in 1954. Ralph started his engineering career with Frigidaire in Dayton, Ohio. In 1956, he began work as a civilian for the United States Air Force as a mechanical engineer at Wright Patterson Air Force Base in Dayton. In 1960, he was hired by NASA and moved his family to Huntsville, Alabama to work at Redstone Arsenal. In 1962, Ralph moved to a new job with NASA in Slidell, Louisiana at the Michoud Assembly Facility. Finally, in 1963, Ralph moved to Merritt Island, Florida and joined the NASA Apollo Program team at Kennedy Space Center to work on the Saturn V launch vehicle. He was part of the team that put the first men on the moon. In the last years of his career with NASA, Ralph was a Launch Site Support Manager at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. Ralph retired from NASA in 1989.

In addition to his wife Roberta, Ralph is survived by his four children: Cheryl Lotspeich Steininger (John), Suzanne Lotspeich Maestre (Norman), Ralph Lotspeich Jr., and Robert Lotspeich (Kyndra). Ralph was also blessed to have six beloved grandchildren who survive him: Katherine and John Steininger, Sarah and Ross Lotspeich, and Michael and Matthew Maestre. He also had many nieces and nephews and was predeceased by his parents and sisters Loy Nebergall and Beryl Meehan.

As a young man, Ralph was a member of the Boy Scouts of America (BSA), and in his teenage years, he joined the BSA Air Scouts Program, a unique BSA program offered in the 1940s, which sparked his enthusiasm in the world of aeronautics.  Ralph was a dedicated husband, father and grandfather. He was a Boy Scout leader for both of his sons, and he built his children a small sailboat that encouraged their lifetime love of boating and the outdoors.  At Grace United Methodist Church, Ralph served as an usher for many years. He enjoyed listening to Bible verses and music, reading, boating, biking, swimming and most of all spending time with his family. He loved attending his grandchildren’s sports activities and cultural performances and never missed a family celebration. He will be missed and always loved dearly by his family. They are comforted by his faith in God and his Savior Jesus Christ, the assurance of Ralph’s salvation, and his happiness and peace in heaven with God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

The family would like to share two Bible verses in Ralph’s memory:

John 11:25-26

I Am the Resurrection and the Life

“I am the Resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even if he dies;

and whoever lives and believes in me will never die.”

 

 

Psalm 23

The Lord Is My Shepherd

The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.

He maketh me to lie down in green pastures; he leadeth me beside the still waters.

He restoreth my soul; he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.

Yea though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,

I will fear no evil; for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.

Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies;

Thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.

Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life,

And I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.

 

The family would also like to share this poem, which expresses our grief but also our constant love at this difficult time.

The Broken Chain

We little knew that morning,

That God was going to call your name.

In life we loved you dearly,

In death we do the same.

It broke our hearts to lose you,

You did not go alone.

For part of us went with you,

The day God called you home.

You left us peaceful memories,

Your love is still our guide.

And though we cannot see you,

You are always at our side.

Our family chain is broken,

And nothing seems the same.

But as God calls us one by one,

The chain will link again.