Ralph Bernard Nordick was born May 26, 1933, to Louis and Elizabeth (DeBoever) Nordick, on their farm in Kent, MN, the 5th of 7 children. He died on November 6, 2023, at Edgewood Senior Health facility in Fargo, ND. He was 90 years old.
As a child, Ralph enjoyed helping his mother in the garden and also crocheting, which he claims won him some blue ribbons at the County Fair! He was also innovative in the field, devising methods to make things more efficient on the farm.
Upon graduating from Breckenridge High School, he swore he would never milk another cow. He became an MP in the Army and served in Europe for 2 years with his unit closing down the Austrian Command. Upon his return, he attended Dunwoody in Minneapolis, MN, and studied carpentry. Ralph was a good carpenter but also was blessed with a unique drive and strong business acumen. This led him to start his own company in 1965, Twin City Garage Door, which he and his partner grew from nothing and today remains the industry leader, with branches in WI, MN, and ND.
In 1975, he started Twin City Garage Door in Fargo, ND, then in 1978 he started Midland Garage Door Manufacturing Co. which now has branches in Omaha, NE, and Eden Prairie, MN. Both TCGD and Midland still today carry the culture and values Ralph instilled. Both companies have many long-term employees of 20, 30, even 40 plus years. One of the keys to his success was that he was not afraid to take a risk combined with an infectious can-do attitude. He was also extremely adept at reading people; it didn't take him long to figure out who was a good fit and who wasn't. His business smarts and common sense ensured his businesses would be successful. His efforts resulted in many people having jobs and making a good living working for his companies, and even spun off several competitors.
Outside the garage door business, he also has a real estate development business, and he started the Burger Time chain of restaurants. In 1989, Dunwoody awarded Ralph their entrepreneur award for initiative and leadership in business ventures that serve regional and national markets.
Ralph became a born again Christian later in life. In response to God’s call on his life to make a difference in the world he started the R. B. Nordick Foundation in 1995. Its purpose was as he put it, “To spread the gospel of Jesus Christ around the world”. Hundreds of thousands of people's lives are being touched every year through this generosity.
Ralph had an abiding love of the outdoors, hunting, fishing, and the wilderness. He also had a passion for flying, using his planes in the furtherance of the business enterprises and accessing the wilderness. Many trips were made in the floatplane to the lakes and rivers of Ontario and Manitoba.
Ralph was preceded in death by his parents; and all six of his siblings, Leonard, Warren, Louie, Grace, Ruth, and Alvin; as well as by his granddaughter, Emily Ann Nordick.
He is survived by his loving wife, Shirley Nordick; and by his eight children, Lisa Donabauer (Andy Olberg), Gary (Chris) Nordick, Brett (Sheri) Nordick, Susanne (John) Jacobs, Mark (LeeAnn) Nordick, Amy (Todd) Albert, Eve (Steve) Cummins and Ralph (Angie) Nordick Jr., aka Beav.
His 26 grandchildren will carry with them memories of learning to play cribbage with Grandpa, hunting, fishing, flying to Canada, trips to the house in Mexico and any number of adventures he exposed them to. He has 25 great-grandchildren, who he always enjoyed when they came to visit. Ralph is also survived by many nieces and nephews in his extended Nordick family.
A Visitation will be held for Ralph on Tuesday, November 14, 2023, from 5 PM to 6 PM with a time of sharing and prayer at 6 PM, in Bethel Church, Fargo, ND. The Visitation will continue on Wednesday, November 15, 2023, from 9 AM to 10 AM, in Bethel Church, with the Funeral Service starting at 10 AM. The Burial will be in St. Thomas Cemetery in Kent, MN, following the lunch.
Due to sensitivities it is requested that strong fragrances and perfumes are not worn to the visitation and funeral service. Thank you.
To view Ralph's Service, please follow the link below.