Ralph Joseph “Ralphie” Argir III
January 4, 1957 April 7, 2023
It is with a very heavy heart that I announce the passing of my older brother and best friend, Ralph Joseph Argir III, in the early hours of Friday morning, 4/7/2023. His was not an easy life to live, and yet, he lived it with grace, with gratitude, with smiles, and with lots of love for those who crossed his path. Ralph (Ralphie) was born on January 4, 1957, in Hibbing, MN to Ralph and Josephine (Kukich) Argir and grew up in Keewatin. He graduated from Nashwauk-Keewatin High School through the special education department and then went on to graduate from the Homes Inc. independent living program in Hibbing, MN. Ralph lived a full and active life while living at the Westgate apartments in Hibbing and working at ODC for several years and then for Hardees restaurant at the Irongate Mall for several decades. He was a social butterfly who would make his daily rounds through the mall after his shifts at Hardees, chatting with the various store employees and the many friends that he would encounter each day.
Ralph had many joys in his life which included bike riding around town, hunting (duck, deer, and grouse), fishing (he would out fish everyone in the boat), gambling with our parents (but only on the nickel slots), listening to music on his boombox, riding his 3-wheeler and John Deere gator, playing Monopoly, and spending time at the family hunting shack listening to all of the stories being shared. Ralph was an altar boy at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Keewatin, a boy scout, and an athlete with Special Olympics and in the Miracle League. Ralph always wanted to help others out and he would be the first to volunteer if he heard that someone had a project going and needed more muscle around to get it done. But most of all, Ralph loved being with family. Grandparents, aunts, uncles, and many, many cousins filled his life during all of the holidays and on family trips across the country. Then, when Ralph became an uncle, he was beside himself with happiness and pride. There was a look of shear joy on his face when he would hold his baby nephews and niece or when they would latch onto his finger or sit on his lap. However, if there could be any more happiness inside Ralph it was when he later became a great-uncle. Now older and a little shakier, Ralph would need some help to hold all of these great nieces, but he did so with patience, with gentleness, with humility, and with an absolute and pure love.
Ralph was preceded in death by our parents; older sister, Joanie Marie; and grandparents. He leaves behind the younger brother, Joe (myself) and my wife, Lynette; his 3 nephews, Sean, Ben (Jess Robinson), Jeremy (Brittany Roth), and his only niece, Samantha. He also leaves behind those 6 loves of his life, his grand-nieces, Gabby Franks, Izzy and Sophie Argir, Danika Roth, and Gianna and Natalia Argir. In addition to the above, Ralph leaves behind those many, many cousins from the Betts, Shanks, Kukich, and Argir clans.
Please join us in remembering Ralph as we celebrate a life well-lived with a funeral mass for him on Thursday, April 13, 2023, at 11:00am at the Blessed Sacrament Church in Hibbing, MN. The Rev. Fr. Daniel Weiske will celebrate the Mass of Christian Burial. There will be visitation starting at 10:00am until the funeral mass, with a light lunch to follow. Interment will be in the Maple Hill Cemetery of Hibbing.
We give a special thank you to those who have assisted Ralph in the many challenges he faced during his life. You all helped him to beat back the negatives and live in the rays of sunshine that sprang through the clouds. We especially want to thank those with NHS who worked closely with him these last few years until his passing, easing his pain and making him as comfortable as he could be, and to Sharon Polcher, a guardian angel who has known our family for decades and guided Ralph, and myself, along the rocky paths of his declining health.
In lieu of flowers, please make a donation to the Special Olympics or a local hospice in honor of Ralph.
“A life well lived is a life full of love”
Arrangements are with the Dougherty Funeral Home of Hibbing.