Remembering Ralph of Chik-Wauk

     We received some sad news the other day. Ralph Griffis, former owner of Chik-Wauk Lodge on the Gunflint Trail, passed away.  He had been sick for quite some time and his suffering ended Saturday, February 9th, 2013.

     I’ll never forget Ralph and his thunderous laugh and hint of southern drawl.  He was a kind and gentle man who cared for others especially his loving wife of 64 years.  Bea and Ralph were like salt and pepper and I can’t imagine how Bea must be feeling without him by her side. 

     Ralph and Bea were the last owners and operators of Chik-Wauk Lodge on the Gunflint Trail.  Without their help Chik-Wauk Museum and Nature Center may not have been possible.  Unfortunately Ralph never got to visit the museum but I know he saw pictures and video that I posted on my blog and that others surely sent him.

     I will miss picking up the telephone and listening to Ralph tell stories about the good old days on the Gunflint Trail.  I’m sure Ralph has a rod in his hand in heaven and is entertaining others as I type. Rest in Peace Ralph, you’ll be missed. 

ralph and bea 1976 photo courtesy GTHS

1976 Bea and Ralph at Chik-Wauk

Ralph L. Griffis
HARLINGEN, TX. – Ralph L. Griffis, 87, passed away Saturday, February 09, 2013 at Valley Baptist Medical Center.
Ralph was born on September 15, 1925 and attended school in the Wichita Falls, Texas area. He later served in the
United States Navy during World War II.
Ralph owned and operated the Chik-Wauk Lodge on the Saganaga Lake in Grand Marias, MN for over 40 years before donating the lodge to the State of Minnesota.
Ralph was a winter visitor to the Harlingen area beginning in the 1960’s and then became a permanent resident in the 80’s. He was a member of the Harlingen Country Club and a Director of the Life Begins at Fourty Golf Tournament. He also was a member of the Confederate Air Force, member of the Masons and Shriners organizations.
Ralph had a passion for flying and owned several planes. He also was an avid golfer and fisherman.
He is survived by his wife of 64 years, Beatrice R. Griffis of Harlingen and several nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his parents, two sisters, and one brother.
No service will be held at this time and Ralph will be cremated as per his wishes.
In lieu of flowers memorial contributions may be made to the Sunny Glen Children’s Home, P.O. Box 1373, San Benito, Texas 78586.