Date of death: 12/20/2019

Saint Meinrad Class: O 1960

Ralph Edward Cortas, 87, residing in Elkhart, gently departed this life on Friday, Dec. 20, 2019, at Hubbard Hill Estates.

A native of Chicago, he was born on April 23, 1932, to the late Edward C. and Cecelia (Stoltman) Cortas. He married his one and only love, Patricia Joan Konecny, on Aug. 10, 1963, in Elkhart. Pat died Oct. 5, 2015.

They built a wonderful life together and are survived by their children, Edward (Tricia) Cortas, Bernadette (Paul) Golitz, Teresa Cortas and Jennifer (Matthew) Howe. Loving him still are 12 grandchildren, Nate, Ben, Joe and Michael Cortas; Lydia, Madeleine and Abigal Golitz; Claudia and Vivian Stienke; and Sam, Emma and Henry Howe.

In addition to his parents and wife Pat, a sister, Suzanne Fara, preceded Ralph in death.

Ralph graduated from Elkhart High School, received his BA and MA in education from the University of Notre Dame and also studied for the seminary at St. Meinrad Seminary and School of Theology.

Ralph had a long and productive career in the RV industry. He was owner and president of Garway Homes, was president and sales manager of Frolic Homes Inc. He was the former general manager and national sales manager for Midas International R.V. and also a sales manager of Travel Master, a division of Coachman RV. He also served as president of both McCoy Miller Ambulance and Goshen Coach and Bus.

Ralph was a hospice volunteer and a longtime member of St. Mary of The Annunciation Catholic Church, where he was a teacher and volunteer. Ralph truly excelled in his role of husband, father and grandfather; he lived life fully and gratefully and will be missed.

The family invites everyone to gather and celebrate Ralph’s life with visitation from 4 to 7 p.m. Friday, Dec. 27, at St. Mary of the Annunciation Catholic Church, 411 W. Vistula St., Bristol, where a parish Rosary will conclude the evening at 7 p.m.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 11 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 28, at St. Mary of the Annunciation Catholic Church, where friends may call one hour prior to the Mass. The Rev. Robert VanKempen will officiate. Cremation will follow with burial at a later date at Rice Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, the family kindly request memorial donations to the church. Condolences may be made at the Billings Funeral Home website