Ralph Waterman Grether


Ralph Waterman Grether, 78, passed away peacefully at home in Overland Park, Kansas on November 15, 2012. Ralph was born on December 25, 1933 in Kansas City, Missouri to Ralph and Katharine Grether.  He grew up in Merriam, Kansas and attended Merriam Grade School, Shawnee Mission North High School, and Westminster College. Ralph graduated from the University of Kansas, where he was a member of Sigma Chi Fraternity.  After graduation, Ralph served as a First Lieutenant in the U.S. Army. On August 1, 1959, he married Anne Burton Grether. Ralph received a Masters of Business Administration from Harvard University and went on to work in the construction and accounting fields.

For 50 years, Ralph and Anne lived in Prairie Village, Kansas, where they raised their daughters, Laura and Katharine, and were active members of First Lutheran Church.  Ralph will be remembered as a loving husband, father, grandfather, and uncle and as a great and giving neighbor and friend.

Ralph was preceded in death by his parents and his sister, Katharine Withers.  He is survived by his wife of 53 years, Anne; his daughters, Laura (Jeff) Martin and Katharine (Darby) Ritter; his brother, Walter (Linda) Grether; his grandchildren, Grace and Walter Martin and Christopher, Hayley, Lauren, and Jack Ritter; brothers and sisters-in-law; and nieces and nephews. Ralph’s family would like to thank Ralph’s doctor, Dr. Paul Diederich, and the staff at Park Meadows Senior Living and Kansas City Hospice, all of whom provided such outstanding and compassionate care for Ralph.

A memorial service for Ralph will be held at 11:00 A.M. on November 24, 2012 at First Lutheran Church, 6400 State Line Road, Mission Hills, Kansas. A luncheon and visitation will follow, and all are welcome.  In lieu of flowers, Ralph’s family suggests contributions to First Lutheran Church or Kansas City Hospice.


  1. Don & Betty Adema; Lawrence, KS on November 21, 2012 at 11:41 am

    Our most sincere condolences. It was a pleasure knowing Mr. Grether through his family. Your family is in our prayers.

  2. Bob in Grandview, Missouri on November 21, 2012 at 8:01 am

    I am grateful for the life of Mr. Grether. Thanks to his service and to the service of others in our armed forces, my family and I have been able to lead our lives in freedom and peace.

  3. Diana and Jeff patterson on November 19, 2012 at 10:18 pm

    Much love and many good and sweet memories of Ralph and Ann are going to your family.

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