Life History of Ralph Julius Lauper
Ralph Lauper began his personal history with a "combat journal", back in 1944, and, after a gap of many years, completed the notes for his Life History in the early 1990's. His daughter, Rica, compiled a spiral-bound book shortly after his death in 1993. As Rica notes in her introduction, he started with an "overview" and then went back and added sections about particular people and events.
The oral interview of 1989 duplicates some items in the overall history, but also contains some unique "tidbits".
- Introduction (by Rica Lauper Van Katwyk)
- Life Overview
- Unforgettable Characters in my Life
- My Prophet -- My Friend
- Missionary Tales
- War Memories
- Addendum [Later Years]
- Poem about father Emile Lauper
LIFE HISTORY (CHRONOLOGY)
RALPH JULIUS LAUPERNovember 26, 1916 - September 25, 1993
as typed by daughter
Erica Lauper VanKatwyk
Introduction[by Rica VanKatwyk, Ralph's daughter]
When Dad began to write his life history he said, "You'll type this for me, won't you? Nothing really important happened in my life but everyone seems to want me to write it down and so there will be just a few pages. Besides, it'll be real easy with your computer. Then we can edit and make corrections as we go along."
So, here I am typing what pretty much turned into a binder-full of Dad's memories. Dad has passed away and there is no one to help me edit or make the corrections that might be needed. I have typed and made corrections that he would have wanted without changing the meaning. Information in brackets "[ ]" are my notations and added information that I felt would be useful to posterity, such as birthdays and full names of family members, etc.
Dad's first attempt on his life history was on a tape recorder in his car on the way to work. Unfortunately his window was down and Aunt Vi couldn't transcribe much, if any, of it because of the noise. I believe those recordings included sections about women (his mother, favorite school teacher, his wife, grandchildren, etc.) and other people of meaning in his life that you will undoubtedly notice are missing from this final copy. I didn't have a chance to read through this book of writings until after Dad's death or I would have asked him about this obvious oversight. If anything--Dad would have wanted to make his writings complete by including all those who were important to him.
The first writings were just the brief life history that he thought no one 'would be interested in reading. After he got going then he couldn't stop and he began adding sections that went into greater detail about certain areas of his life.
The following is an indexing of sorts. [The table of contents above, added for this web version, is a somewhat altered and expanded version of this original "index". Some of the sections in "War Memories" have been rearranged for the sake of continuity.]
LIFE HISTORY UNFORGETTABLE CHARACTERS IN MY LIFE --DAD --HAROLD "SKINNY" SMALLWOOD --JACK RICKETTS AND BILL PAULLMAN --BILL GREEN MY PROPHET -- MY FRIEND MISSIONARY TALES WAR MEMORIES PAGES FROM A WAR JOURNAL (that Aunt Viola previously typed but the journal as she received it was itself, incomplete) ADDENDUM (by wife, Jane P. Lauper) POEM---ABOUT EMILE LOUIS LAUPER (Ralph wrote about his father)