Ralph was born in Hibbing, Minnesota, an area in the Northern part of the state that was densely populated with Nordic immigrants. Both sets of Ralph’s grandparents emigrated from an area in Finland just northwest of Helsinki, and his parents were born in Minnesota. After serving in the Army, Ralph attended Portland State College receiving degrees in engineering and economics. After a short stint with the Western Union engineering department, he went to work at the University of Oregon Medical School, now OHSU, where he remained for over 37 years. Ralph has been involved in Nordic Northwest since the beginning and dedicated many hours to helping Nordia House get built. Ralph is a part of the Building Committee on the Nordic Northwest Board of Directors which now oversees new construction at Fogelbo. He has also served on the Executive Committee and been a project manager at Nordic Northwest for over fifteen years.