Askam Jr., Dr.
Dr. Ralph Frederick Askam Jr. M.D. passed away Sunday, August 16, 2020. He was born in Findlay, Ohio on April 6, 1927 to Ralph & Charlotte (Gerlinger) Askam Sr. and served his country in the US Navy for 18 months allowing him to continue his education. Ralph attended Findlay college and went on to earn a BS at OSU where he met the love of his life Mary Anne who was earning her BS in nursing. He married the former Mary Anne (Andy) Limbach on March 16, 1952. After getting his medical degree at OSU, he formed a partnership called 'Anesthesia Associates' which became the first group of Anesthesiologists in Muskegon, true pioneers in the field. For many years their small group of Doctors and Nurse Anesthetists, handled all the anesthesia cases for both Mercy & Hackley Hospitals. Ralph's biggest focus beyond his wife and family was being a doctor, but eventually his many interests in the outdoors, wildlife and family gave him the desire to work part time for a few years until he eventually retired. He continued his love of medicine and helping people even in retirement by being involved with Doctors without Borders. Though he was a member of the Muskegon Country Club for many years, he did more than just golf in retirement, as his handicap suggested. There were many clubs Ralph was a member of or donated to or volunteered with, so many organizations it is impossible to list them all, at one time he belonged to every shooting range in Muskegon county. He loved helping Habitat for Humanity improve the rivers in Michigan and avidly donated both time and money to these and many other organizations he supported, as he believed that he was truly blessed and obligated to help those who were not as fortunate as himself. He could not have been luckier than to spend his adult life in Muskegon where he enjoyed fishing in the Muskegon and PM Rivers, but his love for fishing also took him and his eager sons and not so eager wife to incredible places like the French River in Canada, the everglades in Florida, and Trapper's Lake in Colorado. He also loved small game hunting which led him and his sons to places like Iowa, Indiana and Nebraska hunting pheasants, ducks, quail and partridge. Even though he had allergies he loved dogs and they loved Ralph as petting and dropping morsels of food created bonding relationships. He owned several great hunting dogs and a few that were not, but he loved every dog and for sure they loved Ralph. He was a way better shot with a shotgun than a golf club and a better doctor than he was a dog trainer.
But it was not just the dogs, I believe everyone who ever met Ralph liked him. He was soft spoken with hard opinions and a selfless person to the end.
The world is going to miss you big guy!
Sons, Steve Askam of Muskegon, David (Tracy) Askam of West Dundee Illinois, Eric (Sandra) Askam of Harrietta; grandchildren, Perry Askam, Gabriel Askam, Victoria Askam; step-grandchildren, Dave Dunigan, Joe Dunigan; step-great grandchild, Cora Dunigan.
Private family services will be held.
There will be a celebration of Ralph's life at a later date to be announced.
MEMORIAL: There is a Memorial that was established by Ralph and the family in Andy Askam's name meant to support those in need in Muskegon or elsewhere, thus continuing Ralph and Andy's benevolence:
Mary Anne (Andy) Askam Family Fund of the Community Foundation for Muskegon County
Please visit www.clockfuneralhome.com to leave a memory or sign the online guestbook.
Clock Funeral Home - Muskegon
The many dogs of Ralph
Our memories of Ralph were always full of laughs and joy. He was generous in his treatment of all and his sense of humor always kept us laughing. We'll miss him and wish him peace. Love you Ralph.
Carole & Steve Thiel
Gabe's High School graduation
I was sad to read that Doctor A (he let me call him that) has passed away. I knew him as a swimming friend at the Muskegon Y, we were almost always there at the same time. He surely loved his family and we talked of them often. I know you must all miss him terribly-I have thought of him over the years after I retired and changed my "swim" times. I just wanted to add this memory of him-and share with the family how much I enjoyed his company and also reading the obituary to learn more of his full life.
My dad, Dr. Smith, and your dad shared a partnership and friendship for many years. Your dad’s generosity with sharing his cabin brought many great memories to our family. My condolences.
Ralph was a mentor and a friend his obituary captures him well.
My condolences to the Askam family and friends.
Memories of Ralph and friends
Memories of Ralph
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