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Ralph Hanrahan Sauer passed away peacefully on Sunday, November 5, 2023. He was surrounded by loved ones holding his hand and saying the rosary while the Holy Spirit took him to Heaven to be reunited with his beloved wife of 63 years.
Ralph was born on December 17, 1938 in Houston, Texas. He was the son of Henry and Kathryn Sauer and the eldest of four children. He married Marjo Green on November 26, 1960 and they remained devoted to each other for the rest of their lives. He loved his wife with all his heart; since Marjo’s death a year ago, Ralph has been looking forward to their heavenly reunion.
Ralph was the loving father of nine children and devoted Granddaddy of ten grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. His family included Beth and Johnny Blanchard and their children John and Sarah; Ralph and Monticia Sauer and their children Hayley and Stanton Murray and their daughter Letty and son James Ralph, and Tucker Sauer; Mary and John Willrodt; Stephen and Kelley Sauer and their children Conner and Kylie; Margaret Sauer; Susan and Brian Welch and their children Beamon and Patrick; Sharon Sauer; Brian and Stephanie Sauer and their children Lindsay and Hunter; and Tommy Green Sauer, who died in infancy. He was a kind, sensitive, and protective father. He spent hours on the golf course, in the boat and on the farm with his children and grandchildren and made countless trips to visit them at college.
Ralph was the steady and warm eldest brother to his siblings Henry Sauer, Betsy Sauer, and Bill Sauer. Betsy and Bill both predeceased him. His remaining sibling, Henry Sauer, had this to say about Ralph: “He was an absolute prince of a guy. I could always count on him. He was a wonderful big brother my whole life.” Ralph was also a kind and loving brother-in-law to Judy Sauer and uncle to his nieces and nephews, including Ellen Sauer, Cassie Sauer, and Henry and Mary Kessler Sauer, and to his large in-law family on the Green side.
Ralph was a gentle giant with a sharp intelligence, a heart of gold and a great sense of humor. He was humble and charitable, polite and introverted. Ralph wrote the best letters of encouragement and support to those he cared about, and his circle of caring was solid. He had a strong faith throughout his life. Going to church was always a priority, and he would often reward whoever went with a nice barbecue lunch.
He loved the beach, the water and fishing. He enjoyed sitting on the deck at the beach house and spending time there with his kids. He loved animals and enjoyed being an amateur rancher with horses and cows. He was a music fan, with Frank Sinatra’s “My Way” a particular favorite. He loved to travel and had a special ability to find all the back roads, often turning a three-hour road trip into six.
Ralph graduated from St. Anne Catholic School and St. Thomas High School in Houston, Texas. He received an accounting degree from the University of Notre Dame in South Bend, Indiana. He remained a lifelong Notre Dame sports fan. It was holy hour when the Fighting Irish were playing, no matter what sport. He also served in the National Guard.
When he graduated from college, he began working for Exxon and stayed there for twenty years. After he left Exxon, he followed his mission-oriented heart to serve as Executive Director of Catholic Charities for nearly a decade. During his career and after retirement, he also held key volunteer roles. These included Little League, Knights of Columbus, Knights and Ladies of the Holy Sepulcher, St. Michael’s Church Parish Council, and as a sponsor of couples getting married at church. He was a founding board member of Texas Interfaith Housing whose mission is serving seniors and low-income families. He was also a lifelong member of River Oaks Country Club.
A visitation and Rosary will be held from five until eight o’clock in the evening on Wednesday, November 8, 2023 at Bradshaw-Carter Memorial & Funeral Services, 1734 West Alabama Street, with the Rosary at six o’clock in the evening. A funeral mass will be held at ten o’clock in the morning on Thursday, November 9, 2023 at St. Anne Catholic Church at 2140 Westheimer Road with a reception following in the St. Theresa Living Room at the church. The family will hold a private burial at Forest Park Lawndale Cemetery on Friday.
The family would like to thank Brooklyn Glasscock for her care and companionship of both Marjo and Ralph in their last years. In lieu of customary remembrances, contributions in Ralph’s memory may be made to St. Thomas High School, 4500 Memorial Drive, Houston, Texas, 77007.
St. Thomas High School
4500 Memorial Drive, Houston TX 77007