Ralph Nilles

ralph nilles
Ralph Daniel Nilles Jr. passed away unexpectedly on Sunday, October 27, 2019, at the age of 72. Ralph was born on April 22, 1947, to Ralph Daniel Nilles Sr. and Zita Nilles. Zita passed away when Ralph was only nine months old and then his Aunt Ruth Sigerson raised him until he was six. His father remarried Candace Brennen in May 1950. Candace adopted and raised Ralph when his father passed away in December of 1958. A lifetime resident of Fargo, Ralph attended St. Anthony’s elementary and graduated from Shanley High School in 1966. After high school he attended NDSU. On his 20th birthday, he met the lovely Carolyn Dalberg. After winning a coin toss to decide if he should talk to her, he then went on to win her heart. Ralph and Carolyn married on March 7, 1970 in Soderville, MN and went on to have four beautiful children. Ralph built relationships through his career in Real Estate and his business, JR Remodeling, which he owned with his son, Joel. He mastered the art of friendship and built a strong community through Bible Study Fellowship as both a member and leader and during his 20+ years in AA. His legacy of friendship lives on in the lives of those he loved deeply. Ralph treasured the lake and took many fishing trips over the years enjoying all the fellowship that went along with them. Ralph and Carolyn loved to spend time camping and visiting their children. He cherished time with his family during their annual lake week where he taught his grandchildren the thrill of fishing and joy of lake life. Ralph came to know Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior later in his life. He touched countless lives through his humble, open communication about the saving grace of Jesus. His life was a testimony of God’s redeeming power. Ralph was diagnosed with cancer in 2016 and at the time of his death was in remission. Ralph is survived by his loving wife Carolyn; children, Rachel (Jake) Cremer, Hot Springs, MT, Joel (Rachel) Nilles, Fargo, ND, and Nadine (Rob) Lloyd, Maui, HI. He was blessed with nine grandchildren, Isaac, Darian, Noah, and Jericho Cremer, Jadon, Nathan, and Joshua Nilles, and Brooke and Robin Lloyd. He was preceded in death by his parents Ralph and Zita, and Candace; and son, Jared Nilles. There will be a visitation from 5-7:00 PM with a prayer service following at 7:00 PM on Friday, November 1, 2019 at Boulger Funeral Home and Celebration of Life Center, Fargo. The funeral service will be at 10:00 AM on Saturday, November 2, 2019 at Calvary United Methodist Church, Fargo with a visitation one hour prior. Burial at Holy Cross North Cemetery. The family requests memorials are given to Lighthouse Church at 21 9th St S in Fargo and the Jared Nilles Memorial Fund through the Fargo Public Schools Development Foundation.

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Memories Timeline


  1. Rest in Peace, Ralph. We had some great times growing up down the ally from each other. I know your’e with your son now basking in your eternal reward. God bless you, Carolyn and your whole family.

  2. Lots of memories of Ralph at Jollyfisherman resort for many years. Good fishing,eating,story sharing and card playing. He will be missed. My condolences. Art O

  3. Carloyn and family,
    My heart is heavy with this sad news. I will miss seeing Ralph in church and getting one of his warm hugs. I will remember Ralph as a kind, loving, and humble man. I am so sorry for your loss. My thoughts and prayers are with you.

  4. Oh Ralphie Boy! Oh Ralphie Boy! I loved you so. The times we shared chasing around in the “Old Blue Pontiac” are memories that will last forever. I was so happy that in our old age we did reconnect and we immediately confided with each other and had such frank conversations. Oh Ralphie! Until we meet again……..

  5. I was so shocked with the passing of Ralph. I remember many times we were together, when Jimi and I lived here back in the late 90’s and early 2000’s. I am so sorry for your loss, Carolyn. Please know that my thoughts and prayers are with you and if you ever need anything, please let me know. God bless you and your family.

  6. I was Ralph’s leader in his first year of Bible Study Fellowship. I remember him as a humble, soft spoken man who was a true joy to know. Years later when I went back as a participant, his smile greeted me from across the room. My sincere sympathy to family and friends. People like Ralph are few and far between. He will be sorely missed but it brings joy beyond measure to know that he is now with our Lord and Savior.

    May God bless you and give you peace in your time of sorrow.

  7. Ralph was a good man devoted to his family and friends with lots of people. I spent many hours on the lake with him and will always remember those good times. He will be missed.

  8. Dear Carolyn, We were in Circle many years ago and I wanted to offer my condolences on the loss of your dear husband. He sounds like an amazing man and to know that he is with Jesus is the best anyone could ask for. I know your heart must be very heavy and I will keep you in my prayers.

  9. Dear Rachel,
    So sorry for the loss of your dad! You reached out to me seven years ago when our daughter, Erin Malnory passed away. Erin is buried next to your brother, Jared! My brother, Mike McShane, also went to school with your dad at St.Anthony’s and Shanley. May you embrace the wonderful memories of your dad. Godspeed to you and your family. Bev McShane Malnory

  10. I have known Ralph for several years. Through his good times and bad times. We were there for each other. I want to Thank Ralph for doing these specific things for me which were mentioned in his obit. Getting me started in men’s BSF. I continue in other bible studies to this day. Inviting me to come to Recovery Worship. I am a loyal participant in the service each week. For at least 10 years. Also being included on Elbow Lake fishing trip for a few years. When my hours were cut back at work, he gave me some part time work to help out. Giving and caring and reaching out. I miss you Ralph. And Thank you.

  11. Dear Carolyn and family, Our sympathy at the loss of Ralph. Sure a dear person to all, may you remember that his love for his family and the Lord where true and steadfast. Hold all your memories in your heart, for he will always be there. Lee and Charlotte

  12. Ralph Nilles family: On behalf of my wife and myself want to express our sincerest condolences and our prayers are with you. I am so glad that I invited Ralph to go fishing with me this last summer to Devils lake and we had a wonderful time and will keep remembering that as he was a great guy and someone that was good company. God bless Henry and Kathryn Pietrzak

  13. Dear Ralph Nilles Family,
    Ralphie and I were friends in high school and early college days. We drifted apart as our lives took different but at the same time similar paths. To read how his life was changed eternally forever when he accepted Christ into his life gives me such joy and the realization we will meet again in heaven one day gives me peace in my sadness. I will pray for you all during this time of mourning and will celebrate Ralph’s life with you. God bless you all.

  14. Our deepest sympathies to you and your whole family, Carolyn. I so appreciated the warm smile and dry sense of humor that Ralph had. He was a joyous person to know.
    Gayle & Scott Carlson

  15. Ralph blessed our lives through friendship and family time( we share several terrific grandkids). He encouraged us as fellow believers in our Lord Jesus Christ, and he made us laugh! What wonderful gifts! Perhaps the best gift was that he allowed us to know him personally. All our love to your family, Gary and Izzie Cremer

  16. I’m very sorry for your family. I will miss Ralph’s wisecracks about my drinking. Really saddened.

  17. Carol and family, I met Ralph several years ago. I was in St. John’s with him in 1986. He was a good man. We both struggled with our demons. As I sobered up several years later, I often wondered what happened to him. It is comforting in knowing he sobered up. I am such he was a mentor to many. Then I see this, sympathy to you and your families.

  18. I am so sorry to hear of Ralph’s passing. Praying for you and your family at this time of loss. My sympathies to all.

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