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Ralph S. Rakowski

December 9, 1929 ~ August 13, 2019 (age 89)

Ralph S. Rakowski, 89, of South Bend, Indiana passed away at 5:55 p.m. Tuesday, August 13, 2019, in St. Joseph Regional Medical Center.  Ralph was born on December 9, 1929 in South Bend to Stanley and Sophie (Pulaski) Rakowski, and was a lifelong resident.  He retired as a Captain from the South Bend Fire Department in 1992, after 33 years of service.  On April 7, 1956, in St. Hedwig Church, he married Marlene A. Buczynski, who preceded him in death on October 29, 2014.  He was also preceded in death by his step-brother, James Choinacky.  Ralph is survived by two daughters, Kathy (Corey) Noland of South Bend, Indiana and Karen (Don) Stoner of Mattawan, Michigan; one son, Michael (Patti) Rakowski of Niles, Michigan; and four grandchildren, Abby Stoner, Zachary Stoner, Lauren Rakowski, and Alex Noland.  A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 11:00 a.m. Monday, August 19, 2019 in St. Jude Church.  A visitation will be held from 2:00 p.m. until 6:00 p.m. Sunday in the Kaniewski Funeral Home, where a rosary will be prayed at 5:30 p.m.  A visitation will also be held from 10:00 a.m. until 10:45 a.m. Monday in St. Jude Church.  Ralph served in the United States Air Force during the Korean War.  He was a member of St. John the Baptist parish for 40 years and St. Jude parish since 2004.  He was a member of the Retired Firefighter Breakfast Club.  Ralph was an avid reader. He was a great cook. He enjoyed cooking for the fireman at his station.   Ralph loved traveling to Sanibel Island with his wife Marlene.  He was a Notre Dame football fan.  Memorial Contributions may be directed to the The Hospice Foundation. To send online condolences, please visit

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