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Published: Wednesday, 10/16/2002

Napoleon businessman known as hard worker

NAPOLEON - Ralph David Landes, former co-owner of Culligan Soft Water of Napoleon and a partner in the Maumee Valley Egg Farm, died Monday in Lutheran Village at Wolf Creek in Springfield Township, near Toledo. He was 92.

The cause of death was unknown, family members said.

Mr. Landes lived in Napoleon for much of his life. He and his brother, George, operated a Culligan Soft Water franchise in Napoleon during the 1950s.

“He was a capable businessman,” his son, Wayne, said. “He was a hard worker.”

After the brothers sold the business, Mr. Landes became a partner in the Maumee Valley Egg Farm. The farm, just south of Napoleon, kept more than 100,000 chickens.

“In its day, it was a fairly large operation,” his son said.

Mr. Landes grew up in Lima, Ohio. After graduating from high school there, he worked as a carpenter for the former Indian Boat Co.

He then distributed ice cream made by Meadow Gold Dairy, which packaged ice cream and milk in Lima. Mr. Landes moved to Napoleon and traveled around the area taking ice cream to retailers.

His work with Meadow Gold was interrupted by World War II. Mr. Landes served in the Navy for several years on ships in the Mediterranean Sea and the Pacific Ocean before returning to the dairy company.

After retiring from the egg farm, Mr. Landes worked for the Filling Memorial Home of Mercy in Napoleon. The home cared for developmentally disabled children and young adults. Mr. Landes did maintenance work and helped transport the residents to different activities.

Mr. Landes was a member of St. Paul United Methodist Church, American Legion Post 300, VFW Post 8218, Napoleon Masonic Lodge, and the Eastern Star chapter in Napoleon.

His wife, the former Glenna McNett, whom he married in 1934, died in 2000.

Surviving are his sons, Wayne and Norman; brother, George; five grandchildren, and six great-grandchildren.

Services will be at 2 p.m. Friday in St. Paul United Methodist Church, where friends and family will be received after 12:45 p.m. Friday. Walker Mortuary in Napoleon handled arrangements. The family requests tributes to St. Paul United Methodist Church or Filling Memorial Home of Mercy.

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