The Daily Globe - Serving Gogebic, Iron and Ontonagon Counties

Ralph Howard Fruik Jr.


February 24, 2018

BERGLAND, Mich. - Ralph Howard Fruik Jr., 70, a long-time resident of Bergland, passed away peacefully late Thursday evening, Feb. 22, 2018, at his home, with his family by his side.

Ralph was born on July 14, 1947, in Chicago, a son of Eleanor (Besonen) and Ralph Howard Fruik Sr. He graduated from Bergland High School in 1965. He married his high school sweetheart, Lorraine Gay Bailey, on Feb. 1, 1966.

Ralph attended Gogebic Community College and earned his associate's degree in 1967. He earned his bachelor's degree from Northern Michigan University in 1969

Ralph was a teacher at Chassell High School. He worked at Copper Range Company before taking the job of water and sewer superintendent of Bergland Township. He was also an assessor and the township sexton.

After retiring from the township, Ralph and Gay purchased the Lake Gogebic Motel and ran that business for 23 years.

Over the years, Ralph was involved in various activities, including the Bergland Township Fire Department, the Men's Bowling League and his hunting camp, the Six Pack Lodge.

Ralph enjoyed sitting on his deck and relaxing and taking his evening golf cart ride around town, stopping to chat with whoever was out and about.

He will be greatly missed by his family and friends.

Ralph is survived by his wife, Gay; two daughters, Michelle (Don) Geist, Whitehall, and Amy (Ken) Libertoski, Weston, Wis .; five grandchildren, Kyle (Alecia) Geist, Stephanie Geist and Justin, Jacob and Jill Libertoski; a great-grandson, Griffin Geist; his mother-in-law, Norma Bailey; two sisters-in-law, LaVonne (David) Niemi and Gwen (Darryl) Mason; numerous nieces, nephews and cousins; and many dear friends.

He was predeceased by his parents; a brother, Gary; and his father-in-law, Herbert Bailey.

A celebration of his life will be held in the spring.

Funeral arrangements have been entrusted to Jerald Rocco, owner and manager of Lakeside Memorial Chapel Inc., in Wakefield. Condolences may be expressed online at


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