Coach Ralph Engelmeyer worked in the Ladue School District for more than thirty years, from 1958 – 1992. When word got around that Coach Engelmeyer wasn’t in the best of health, his former colleagues, as well as graduates from the ‘60s and ‘80s when his son graduated, threw him a surprise party. On Oct. 10, 2014, more than seventy guests, including former coaches and counselors, gathered at the Ladue Fifth Grade Center gym to honor the man who was a role model for many students.
Guests came from near and far, including three from California, to regal “Coach” with their fond memories. Twenty-five people asked to share their stories at the event. Many of the stories expressed how much it meant to his students to have Coach Engelmeyer as a role model. Doug Stinson, who helped arrange the event, said, “We most likely didn’t listen to our parents, but Coach, with his tough but loving ways, served as a parent role model. He gave us plenty of room to be knucklehead kids. Yet, he was quite firm and swift in his discipline when needed.”
Stories also included tall tales from outings at Coach Engelmeyer’s camps in Northern Ontario, Canada and Camp Roy-L in Missouri. “I have been around many fine leaders in my life,” said Stinson, “but rarely have I seen a man who has had such a wide and deep impact on so many people that had such a lasting effect.”
Coach Ralph Engelmeyer is married to Carol and call Kirkwood home. They have two sons, and are proud grandparents. He can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org.