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Ralph E. Pickering Sr., 77, of New Bremen, died at 3:45 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 4, 2011, at the Kindred Hospital in Lima.
He was born on June 24, 1934, in West Alexandria, the son of Karl V. and Eva G. (Roach) Pickering, and they preceded him in death.
On Dec. 21, 1957, he married Emilie J. Lininger, and she survives him near New Bremen.
He is also survived by his children, Julie (Gary) Garman of Lindale, Ga., Ralph (Julie) Pickering Jr. and Shelby (Bradley) Wiechart, both of Celina; his stepdaughters, Kaye (Robin) Anderson of Celina and Kendra Bonifas of St. Marys; 20 grandchildren; 33 great-grandchildren; 11 great-great-grandchildren; five siblings, Joseph Pickering of Wapakoneta, Hazel Heinfeld of Ada, Karlene Speicher of Wapakoneta, Anita Andrew of Celina and Robert Pickering of Celina; a number of nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by a great-granddaughter, Destiny Sullivan; two brothers, Francis and James Pickering.
Mr. Pickering served in Europe with the U.S. Army, where he was a mechanic during the Korean War.
He was a member of the American Legion Post 241 of New Bremen, a member of the F.O.E. Lodge of Wapakoneta and a member of the American Motorcycle Association. He retired from Goodyear of St. Marys in 1993 after more than 40 years of service and had been working with the RT Industries of Troy for the past seven years.
He enjoyed trips on his motorcycle and spending time with his family.
Funeral services will be held at 10:30 a.m. Thursday at the St. Paul United Church of Christ in New Bremen, with the Rev. Allen P. Brown officiating.
Burial will follow in the Resthaven Memorial Gardens near St. Marys.
Calling hours will be held from 2 p.m. to 8 p.m. Wednesday at the Gilberg-Hartwig Funeral Home in New Bremen and from 9:30 a.m. until the time of services at the church on Thursday.