Ralph has been a resident of Southwest Michigan since 1967. He graduated from Benton Harbor High School in 1973. Ralph has a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration and a certificate in Mortuary Science from Wayne State University.
Ralph came to New Buffalo in September of 1979. He worked alongside the founder of Smith Funeral Home, Ronald H. Smith, until Ron died in 1981. His other career mentor was Al Johson. Ralph became manager of the funeral home in 1981, and has proudly served the families of New Buffalo and Harbor Country. Throughout his years of experience in the area, he has gotten to know the local families, providing them a listening ear and peace of mind when they lose a loved one.
“With the Starks family and their staff, we are continuing to build on a reputation of making New Buffalo families our number one priority.”
Ralph is a licensed funeral director in both Michigan and Indiana. He is a member of the National Funeral Directors Association, the Selected Independent Funeral Homes and the Michigan Embalmers Society. He has been active in these local organizations: New Buffalo Lions Club (since 1984), a member of the New Buffalo Savings Bank Board of Directors (1998-2020), the Harbor Country Chamber of Commerce, and the New Buffalo Business Association. His involvements have earned him these recognitions: Excellence Award in Customer Service from Johnson Consulting for Sommerfeld Chapel, New Buffalo Lions Club President, New Buffalo Lions Club Lion of the Year and an American Legion Appreciation Certificate.
Ralph has been married for 39 years to his wife Heidi. Together they have a son Aaron, and a grandson Landon. They also have two cats, Schwartze and Nectar. In his spare time, Ralph enjoys golfing, spending time with his friends and grandson.