Old Engine Memorials

[Home] - [HELP] - [Forums] - [Groups] - [Classified Ads] - [Subscribe] - [Books] - [Sponsors] -

Go Back   SmokStak > SmokStak® Support and Information > Old Engine Memorials
Forgot Password? Join Us!


Old Engine Memorials We each know a collector who has passed that meant something to us and this is a place for our final salute, a place of memories for all to share.

Old Engine Memorials

Ralph Myrkle

this thread has 9 replies and has been viewed 719 times

Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 06-05-2017, 10:00:39 AM
BMyrkle BMyrkle is offline
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Charlotte, Michigan, USA
Posts: 298
Thanks: 519
Thanked 494 Times in 151 Posts
Default Ralph Myrkle

Ralph Myrkle – February 8, 1932 – May 23, 2017

For the past 18 months, or so, we knew this was coming. Dad’s time was getting short.

He had Leukemia and was 85-years-old – too old for a bone marrow transplant, and too old for aggressive chemotherapy. And, this spring, the cancer really sped-up and he really wore down.

During the late winter, he took his last trips out to his barn and shop. He couldn’t really do any work, but he sat on a stool and gave some advice as I worked on this or that. He and mom hadn’t gone to Florida this winter. That’s how we all knew to take what was happening very seriously.

Dad had never spent a night in the hospital before he was 80; he kept active and ate better than most. He didn’t smoke or drink. He seemed like the kind of character where 85-years-old would be just another milepost—not the end of the line.

In any event, he died on May 23, at home with his family. A few days before that, not sure he would make it home from the hospital to see it, we got out one of his favorite tractors, a ‘G’ OilPull and parked it outside his window. I know he appreciated this, because he did make it home and he told us how much it meant to see it again.

Dad was a social guy with a lot of interests, and he loved auctions and steam shows. You may not have known him, but in the past 15 -20 years, he was a regular at the Michigan Flywheelers in South Haven, MI (running the sawmill with his John Deere 820); the Boot Hill Ranch show in Jones, MI; Northeast Indiana Steam Show in LaGrange, IN; the Florida Flywheelers in Fort Meade and Pioneer Park Days in Zolfo Springs, FL.

When dad bought something at an auction, he used to tell mom that ‘he only paid a couple bucks more than the other guy;’ and joked that ‘he wanted to make sure I had stuff to sell at the auction when he died.’ I always told him that I liked the stuff he bought and that it was going to be a pretty small auction.

The truth is, Dad didn’t like going to auctions where the family was selling-out so soon after someone passed-away. You never know anyone’s circumstances, so it’s no good to judge. But, we had always made this old tractor hobby a family affair, and I know it pained him to see families in such a hurry to break with the past.

I always knew these old tractors were dad’s, but he never treated them that way. They were for everyone. He had a sign painted for the barn when I was not more than 10 years old that said, “Ralph & Bryan’s Toy Box.” When he exhibited tractors, he’d put all our names on them.

In the two weeks since he died, a lot of people have asked me ‘what are you guys going to do with all that stuff?’ The only answer I have is that we are going to continue loving it just like he did.

Dad bought his first antique engine in 1950 when he was only 18 years old – an old Ideal Power Lawn Mower and he gave $15 for it. This was followed by an old Hart-Parr in the 1960s and then a more-or-less steady stream of old tractors and implements. In the 1970s and 1980s, he spent some time showing tractors for Earl Marhanka, a friend who lived just a couple miles down the road from our family farm between Decatur and Dowagiac, MI. He bought an ‘S’ OilPull at Marhanka’s sale, and boy do we all love that tractor. Our toy box today is a lot bigger than we had when that old sign was painted, but the ‘S’ is still the biggest toy in there.

By profession, dad was a high school teacher, a part-time farmer, and a truck and bus driver. He had a Bachelor’s Degree from Michigan State and a Master’s from Central Michigan. He taught drafting and industrial arts at Central High School in Flint, MI for nearly 30 years – going home to Southwest Michigan to farm in the summertime.

He was in the United States Navy in the 1950s, and he was proud of his service. But, he was always careful to point out to people that while served ‘during’ the war, he didn’t serve ‘in’ the war, lest people give any accolades he didn’t feel he deserved.

Dad was a talented mechanic and he loved to work on other folks’ projects even more than his own. He often gave up his personal time and garage space to help friends and neighbors get their vehicle back on the road. He was easy-going and patient and he helped a lot of young people build their confidence around machines and engines.

I know most of you didn’t know him, and he didn’t post to SmokStak, but he liked reading the good threads when I’d send him a link. I can’t think of a more appropriate place to post a note about his death – he was a kindred spirit.
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	20170514_210932.jpg
Views:	214
Size:	177.5 KB
ID:	283719  

Last edited by BMyrkle; 06-05-2017 at 11:11:37 AM.
Reply With Quote
Old 06-05-2017, 10:53:03 AM
Dean Lemer Dean Lemer is offline
Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: Martin, North Dakota
Posts: 105
Thanks: 313
Thanked 517 Times in 72 Posts
Default Re: Ralph Myrkle

May he Rest In Peace, beautiful write up of his memory.
Reply With Quote
Old 06-05-2017, 11:42:31 AM
FWurth FWurth is offline
One Millionth Post
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Freeburg, Illinois, USA
Posts: 6,590
Thanks: 7,632
Thanked 6,169 Times in 3,147 Posts
Default Re: Ralph Myrkle

Beautiful obituary for super person. Deepest condolences.
Reply With Quote
Old 06-05-2017, 12:41:03 PM
mschreiber mschreiber is offline
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: crown point ind. or plymouth ma.
Posts: 1,875
Thanks: 3,267
Thanked 1,475 Times in 686 Posts
Default Re: Ralph Myrkle

I knew of ur dad and looked forward to seeing him at s-haven and jones. thanks 4 the story. RIP Ralph, we'll all meet again.
Reply With Quote
Old 06-05-2017, 03:04:17 PM
G Willikers G Willikers is offline
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Canada
Posts: 12,959
Thanks: 12,501
Thanked 29,741 Times in 7,525 Posts
Default Re: Ralph Myrkle

Reading the bio, I'd say the world has lost a first class man.
Best wishes to the Myrkle family at this time.
Reply With Quote
Old 06-05-2017, 03:10:15 PM
Oilpulled Oilpulled is offline
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Rockford, Illinois, USA
Posts: 4,109
Thanks: 12,068
Thanked 5,769 Times in 2,219 Posts
Default Re: Ralph Myrkle

Nice history. He lives on in your and in others memory.
Reply With Quote
Old 06-05-2017, 05:51:13 PM
OTTO-Sawyer OTTO-Sawyer is offline
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Scioto Mills, Illinois USA
Posts: 8,972
Thanks: 20,874
Thanked 7,899 Times in 3,757 Posts
Default Re: Ralph Myrkle

Sorry for your loss.

Sounds like a Humble Man with Great Character.

I especially enjoyed reading his views on Estate Sales and Military Service as I am of the same opinion on both.

Glad to hear he made collecting and displaying a Family Affair, getting everyone involved.
Reply With Quote
Old 06-05-2017, 08:19:06 PM
NDmeterman NDmeterman is offline
Join Date: May 2012
Location: Sioux Falls, South Dakota
Posts: 289
Thanks: 765
Thanked 435 Times in 157 Posts
Default Re: Ralph Myrkle

My condolences on your loss - it's not easy losing a parent.

Nice tribute.
Reply With Quote
Old 06-07-2017, 10:43:59 PM
Roger Wagner Roger Wagner is offline
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Constantine, MI USA
Posts: 61
Thanks: 201
Thanked 205 Times in 32 Posts
Default Re: Ralph Myrkle

Bryan that was an awesome Tribute to your Father.

First met him years ago when he was helping with Earls collection. Then I would look forward to seeing what he was going to bring to the Jones Show. It was always a pleasure to see him and always had a smile on his face. You and your family are in our thoughts and prayers. He will definitely be missed. RIP Ralph

Reply With Quote
Old 06-28-2017, 12:34:49 AM
George White George White is offline
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Bowman, North Dakota, USA
Posts: 566
Thanks: 633
Thanked 386 Times in 185 Posts
Default Re: Ralph Myrkle

Sounds like an outstanding man that is now laid to rest. God bless his soul and comfort the family.
Reply With Quote

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are Off
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

F o r u m Jump

Similar Threads Chosen at Random
Thread Thread Starter F o r u m Replies Last Post
Ralph Affleck's Sawmill - A MUST SEE!!! Rick McKay Farm Antiques and Collectibles 2 10-26-2014 09:41:35 AM
Ralph Waters Charlie Bryant Old Engine Memorials 6 07-09-2006 06:55:32 PM
Ralph Joines Tom Wahl Hit & Miss Gas Engine Discussion 0 01-23-2006 11:02:51 PM

Use "Ctrl" mouse wheel to change screen size.
All times are GMT -4. The time now is 04:42:53 AM.

Smokstak and Enginads site search!

All use is subject to our TERMS OF SERVICE
SMOKSTAK® is a Registered Trade Mark - A Community of Antique Engine Enthusiasts
Copyright © 2000 - 2019 by Harry Matthews P.O. Box 5612 - Sarasota, FL 34277