Ralph Thaddeus Brody

June 2, 1934November 20, 2020

Ralph Thaddeus Brody, age 86 of Clinton Township, Michigan, passed away on November 20, 2020. He was the loving father of Kathleen Stieber (Greg), Karen Rochte (Richard), Kimberly Heide (Ronald) and Kevin Brody (Christina); Treasured grandfather of Karl Hurt, Jacob Rochte, Nicolas Rochte, William Rochte, Jacqueline Tamer, Jennifer Wojkiewicz, Jonathon Heide, Cameron Brody, Carter Brody, Mackenzie Brody, Jacob Jaster, Alaina Jaster & Kara Adkisson; and had 8 great grandchildren. Ralph was preceded in death by his wife Joan.

Born Tadeusz Rafal Brodowski on June 2, 1934, in his parents’ house on Duncan Street in Detroit, Ralph was the only child of Stanislawa (Estelle) Beras and Alexandre Brodowski. His childhood was typical of those in the 1930-40s in that he was proud, confident, resourceful and family-centric. Raised helping his grandparents run their Hamtramck grocery store (Beras Market on Miller), he loved sharing stories of his youth - and riding his bicycle to Belle Isle was a favorite past time. At age 6, his parents bought him his first violin, and so began his lifelong passion for music.

He proudly served in the Navy, and after his honorable discharge, married his longtime sweetheart, Joan Wilk. Together they raised 4 children in the same Grosse Pointe Woods house where he grew up. Ralph enjoyed a successful career with the U.S. Customs Service and was supervisor of the Detroit port for many years. After he retired, Ralph challenged himself with many hobbies, like stained glass, and he continued playing his violin whenever he could. Playing ‘Happy Birthday’ for his grandchildren and sharing his love of music were some of his greatest joys.

Over the past few years, Ralph has taken comfort in the friendship of his dear friend and companion, Patricia Hill. They enjoyed sharing daily meals and conversations, as well as new adventures traveling throughout the country. Ralph was devoted to his family, a loyal friend & talented violinist. Reading and always learning were important to him, as well as connecting with his polish heritage.

Memorial services will be scheduled at a later date. Interment will be attended privately by immediate family, with his final resting place at Mt. Olivet Cemetery in Detroit, Michigan, alongside his late wife. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made in Ralph’s memory to Capuchin Soup Kitchen in Detroit.

Condolences and memories may be shared with the family at

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Margot Hubicki Apple

December 3, 2020

Ralphie took violin lessons from my father, Taras Hubicki , & played for many years in the Detroit Fiddlers Band, an orchestra my father organized. I have photos of the Fiddlers together on stage in late 1940's to early 1950's. Ralph Brodowski was in each one smiling broadly ! When I was a little girl Ralphie would visit me while he
waited for his turn for his violin lesson. He told me stories & we must have played some silly games. I was only 4 or 5. He was the nice big brother I wished to have had. Mom & I called him Ralphie. In recent years we sent Christmas cards & I surely regret never having been able to go back to Michigan to visit with him. God Bless you Ralphie.

Margaret Lagreca

December 3, 2020

I enjoyed talking with him at all the holiday family gatherings. He would always play the violin for birthdays and had so many interesting stories to tell me. He will be missed.

Donna Mesyn

December 2, 2020

Ralph you came into my life way too late and you departed it way too early! I love you dear cousin always have always will! Thank you for all the good, kind,generous life lessons you have taught me. Our paths will cross again. I will try my best to fill your big shoes and your gigantic heart by doing the most good as I can for others! Xoxoxo

Stephanie Hurt

December 1, 2020

My life was made Better, Brighter, and I learned how to be selfless, how to love bigger, how to open my heart to people if and where I can since knowing Papa. He was the greatest man and treasure to all who came in contact with him. My baby girls loved their Papa, and we will continue to talk of him, keep his memory alive and vow daily to show kindness to all, as he did every day effortlessly. ❤️

Bill Frey

November 30, 2020

Ralph was a frequent and memorable contributor to many of the activities of the Boy Scout troop in which I was one of the leaders. His great sense of humor, stories and occasional violin playing around the campfire added much sparkle to the experience of many young men for decades after Ralph's own son graduated.

Bud Mann

November 30, 2020

Dear Ralph
Your music enhanced many a service at St Michael's Church. I hope to hear it when we meet again.

julie mann

November 28, 2020

My thoughts, remembrances and prayers are with the family as you pay tribute to your extraordinary Dad, Granddad and Great-Granddad. My cousin Ralph was the most thoughtful, generous person I knew. He was alway that way as long as I could remember. He loved people and was especially caring towards the older folks. He loved to make them laugh and brought great comfort and joy thru his violin playing. Often playing a musical Trivia and making them remember the name or sing along to what he would play. In our frequent conversations, we shared so many stories and laughter about our big fun loving family. When we were kids , our families gathered together for all the family events and holidays. He'll be in my heart forever. Jim and I loved him and looked forward to our always too short visits. Like he said in his last message, "We will meet again".

Richard Dzikowski

November 25, 2020

Psalm 98:4 “ Shout for joy to the Lord, burst into jubilant song
and music.” With sadness we say good bye to our violinist and friend. We will miss his smile, laugh, stories, opinions, jokes and trivia. We will miss talking with him in Americanized-broken Polish.
Ralph will always be the melody of our voices, the song in our hearts, the music of our souls and the polka in our spirits.
Bog Zaplac Pan Brody. Your loving Resurrection Church family.

Simion Catau

November 25, 2020

May God grant Ralph His Peace and Love! May He, also, give comfort to his family!

Julie McGraw

November 24, 2020

I played music for many years with Ralph at St. Michael Catholic Community in Sterling Heights. He was a talented musician and will be dearly missed. I’m so glad I had happened to bump into him earlier this year.


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