TBDBITL Alumni Club

The Best Damn Band In The Land - The Ohio State University Marching Band Alumni

Ralph Walter Stegner

May 15, 1928 - October 10, 2021

Ralph Walter Stegner, age 93, of Fairborn, Ohio peacefully passed away on October 10, 2021 at Dayspring of Miami Valley.

He is survived by his loving wife of the past 38 years, Kay Stegner and preceded in death by Mary Lou Stegner, wife of 28 years.

Ralph was born May 15, 1928 at his family home in Woodsfield, Ohio to the late Charles and Clara Stegner. He attended The Ohio State University on a Navy ROTC scholarship, played in the band and graduated with a Business Administration degree.

Upon graduation he went to Navy Supply Corp school before reporting to the USS Witek in New London, Connecticut. A job with General Tire brought Ralph to Fairborn. In 1957 he branched out on his own and started what would become Stegner's Midwest Tire, a business he operated for 25 years. He remained active as a small businessman in the community throughout his life.

Ralph loved Fairborn, serving on City Council for 8 years, the last four years as Deputy Mayor. He was a long-time member of the Fairborn Chamber of Commerce serving as president in 1971 and 1976. He helped organize the first Chamber Golf Outing which remains an annual event. He was a proud member of the Fairborn Rotary Club for 60 years, was a club president and lived the club's "Service Above Self" motto.

Beyond his college years he remained an active OSU alumni band member, participating in 49 of 50 reunion games. At 90 years old he performed the full band entrance and halftime show, including the incomparable Script Ohio. In 2019 he was the oldest participating band member at 91 years old.

In addition to Kay, Ralph is survived by sons Robert (Sue) of Mission Viejo, California, Tom of Houston, Texas, Tim (Susie) of Powell, Ohio, Jeff Topping of Fairborn and daughter Jennifer (John) Jacobson, 10 grandchildren and 5 great grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his 3 older brothers, Harold, Ed and Ray and grandson Patrick Jacobson.

Ralph loved to play golf, always dazzling his playing partners with his short game. He enjoyed hosting friends and family for his delicious sausage gravy breakfasts, for watching an OSU game, or for firing up the grill for a cook out. He will be remembered for his caring heart, infectious smile, and for always having a witty comment or joke. As a grandfather, father, and husband, his love and unwavering support will be forever remembered.

A Celebration of Life will be held on Saturday, October 30th at Belton Stroup Funeral Home, 422 East Dayton-Yellow Springs Road, Fairborn, Ohio 45324. Visitation will be 10:00-11:00 AM with a service to follow. Ralph would never fault you for missing if you are attending the OSU-Penn State game. Go Bucks! In remembrance of Ralph's life, the family asks that charitable donations be made to the OSU Alumni Band scholarship fund (http://give.osu.edu/TBDBITL) or the Fairborn Rotary Foundation (PO Box 1344, Fairborn, Ohio 45324).

Ralph was a member of the marching band from 1946 through 1950. He played Trumpet.