STRICKER Ralph, owner of Stricker's Grove Amusement Park in Ross, Ohio passed away on Friday, January 12, 2007 after a long illness.
He was 79 years old. A man of vision and philanthropy, he was born in Mt. Healthy, Ohio to Clara Link and Henry J. Stricker. He had two brothers, Elmer and the late Harold Stricker. Ralph attended Assumption Grade School and graduated from Mt. Healthy High School in 1946. In high school, he ran the projection machine and repaired typewriters. After graduation, he built upscale homes in the Mt. Healthy area. In 1954, Ralph was employed by Procter & Gamble and attended O.M.I. to become a licensed Stationary Engineer. He continued to work at Procter & Gamble until his retirement in 1990. In 1955, Ralph married Nancy Reynolds and from this union, they have two daughters; Debbie Stricker Ziegler and Nancy Stricker. He built his own home and worked at the original Stricker's Grove in Mt. Healthy in his spare time. In 1969, Ralph bought twenty-five acres on Route 128 in Ross, Ohio and relocated the present Stricker's Grove to its current location. Ralph built two roller coasters (The Tornado and The Teddy Bear) and has the distinction of being the only private individual in the United States to build his own coasters. The best quote from Ralph, "I don't ride them, I just build them". For the park, he also built other rides, generators, banquet hall, shelters and numerous other endeavors. He was honored by Cincinnati Magazine as an "Annual Best". He was recognized in the Ohio Magazine for higher safety standards for the outdoor amusement industry. In addition, he was featured in articles in The Ohio Oddities Book and the Amusement Parks of Greater Cincinnati Book. He was also honored on "Our Town" on Channel 9. Ralph has hosted picnics for orphanages, schools and over the years has helped numerous people who are in need. He also hosted picnics for Procter & Gamble retirees as well as his Mt. Healthy High School reunion for many years at Stricker's Grove. He was recognized and honored by Mt. Healthy High School as "Alumni of the Year, Class of 1946". Ralph was known to be a very kind, quiet, soft spoken individual who was modest about his accomplishments. He was mild tempered and always conducted business with just a handshake and a smile. Ralph also loved to tell jokes and had a very dry sense of humor. He took great pride in showing off his amusement park and could be seen there everyday. He particularly loved his roller coasters and listening to the music of his carrousel. He just wanted people to come, enjoy the park and have a good time. He said Stricker's Grove was his "hobby." Anyone who knew Ralph was aware how much he loved his park. It was his life. Ralph was "Stricker's Grove". Survivors include his wife, Nancy (nee Reynolds) Stricker, daughters Deborah (Ken) Ziegler, Nancy Lee (Boo) Stricker and dear brother Elmer (Agnes) Stricker. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Vitas Hospice Care, 11500 North Lake Drive, Suite 400, Cincinnati, OH 45249 or Church of the Assumption Building Fund.
Visitation will be Wednesday evening, January 17, 2007 from 4:00 p.m. until 9:00 p.m. at Stricker's Grove Hall located on State Route #128 in Ross, Ohio. Mass will be held on Thursday, January 18, 2007 at 10:00 a.m. at Church of the Assumption, 7711 Joseph Street, Mt. Healthy, OH. Burial at St. Mary's Cemetery in St. Bernard, OH. NEIDHARD GILLEN FUNERAL HOME, entrusted with arrangements. Condolences to www.neidhardgillenfuneralhome.com
I may attend the visitation. His daughters were nice as well.
I am so sorry to hear about this even though I never had the pleasure of knowing them. I have only had the pleasure of visiting their awesome little park. :)
My thoughts and prayers go out to the Stricker family.
He knew a lot about the industry. He was a very smart man... Someone I looked up to.
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