Ralph Helgeson, age 90, of Granite Falls, Minnesota and formerly of Wood Lake passed away peacefully on Monday, April 8, 2024 at the Granite Falls Hospital with family at his side.  Visitation will be Friday, April 12, 2024 from 5:00 – 7:00 PM at the Granite Falls Lutheran Church.  Funeral Services will be held Saturday, April 13, 2024 at 11:00 AM at the Granite Falls Lutheran Church with visitation from 10:00 – 11:00.  The Wing Bain Funeral Home in Granite Falls is handling the arrangements.

Ralph Arthur Helgeson was born on April 22, 1933, in Wood Lake, Minnesota, the son of Ray and Alta (Helvig) Helgeson. He was baptized at home and later confirmed in his faith at the Wood Lake United Methodist Church. Ralph graduated from Wood Lake High School in 1951. After graduation, he moved to California and worked as a machinist. Ralph then served our country in the United States Army. He was stationed in Korea and was a photographer.
On June 15, 1958, Ralph was united in marriage to Delores Olson at Yellow Medicine Lutheran Church. Delores was truly the love of his life. They were always together from working their farm to traveling the country. The couple made their home near Wood Lake where Ralph farmed for over 30 years. They were blessed with four children, Jodi, Bruce, Keith and Kurt. Ralph was a member of the Wood Lake United Methodist Church and when he and Delores moved off the farm, they became members of the Granite Falls Lutheran Church. He was also a member of the Wood Lake American Legion.  Ralph was always busy and willing to help. In addition to farming, during the winter he worked at several cabinet shops. Eventually he worked out of his own shop on their farm, making cabinets and other things people asked him to create ranging from a table for the church, toy guns, and even pirate ship wheels for the grandkids (and making the tree fort safe once the grandkids came along). Ralph built the house they called home on their farm and helped with remodeling the homes of all his children.  A patient, caring, and loving man, Ralph cherished his time with family and friends. He had a sense of humor and was always ready with a joke to put a smile on the faces of those who happened to get the chance to be in his presence. He enjoyed traveling, camping, and driving the boat for everyone to ski. Ralph and Delores attended the Minnesota State Fair for over 40 years, often with grandkids joining them in the camper. They had a place on Lake Sarah where they enjoyed hosting many family and friends for the weekend – everyone was always welcome and the more people the better. But mostly he enjoyed the time spent with his family, never missing an event from sports games to school plays. He was always supportive in the stands no matter the distance or weather. Ralph’s heart was filled with goodness, and he expressed his gratitude and affection to those he loved often – especially to Delores.

Ralph is survived by his wife, Delores; children, Jodi Helgeson of St. Louis, MO, Bruce (Kris) Helgeson of Wood Lake, Keith (Melissa) Helgeson of Granite Falls, Kurt (Stacy) Helgeson of South Haven; grandchildren, Josh (Cassie) Helgeson of Clara City, Tim Helgeson of Wood Lake, Kelsey (Gavin) Laleman of Cottonwood, Blake (fiancée, Nichole Ziller) Helgeson of Bird Island, Ashton Helgeson of Granite Falls, Neil (girlfriend, Jordan Geraets) Helgeson of Elk River, Danielle Helgeson of Chicago, IL; great grandchildren, Kason, Rylan, Hudson, Sutton, Tennasyn, Riftin, Riggs, Lainey; brother-in-law and sisters-in-law, Harold (Barbara) Olson of Spicer, Joyce Lewison of Montevideo; as well as nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends.
Ralph is preceded in death by parents, Ray and Alta; daughter-in-law, Christy Gustafson; sister, Lenora (Dayton “Joe”) Sheppard; brother and sister-in-law, Marvin and Donna Helgeson; brother-in-law, Dale Olson.

Memorials may be directed to Granite Falls Lutheran Church, Wood Lake First Responders or the charity of your choice.