Ralph Earl Buckwalter, a pioneer missionary to Japan under the Mennonite Board of Missions (MC), was born 20 August 1923 at Hesston, Kansas. During World War II, as a conscientious objector, he spent three years in Civilian Public Service. He married Genevieve Lehman in 1947. They had four children. After graduating from Goshen College in 1949, Ralph and Genevieve studied Japanese in Tokyo, then moved to Hokkaido in 1951.
He founded the Tsurugadai Church in Kushiro, and later served in Hombetsu, Ohihiro, Asahikawa, and Furano until 1979. He helped organize the Nihon Menonaito Kirisuto Kyokai Kyogikai (Hokkaido) (Japan Mennonite Christian Church Conference). He received a MDiv degree from Associated Mennonite Biblical Seminaries in 1972. Much loved and respected, he died 10 January 1980 at Upland, California after a long battle with cancer. A collection of his poetry was translated and published in Japanese in 1986 under the title Bye, Bye, Ojichan (Uncle). Another collection of poems, titled I Saw Jesus Today was privately published in the United States in 1987.
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Yoshiaka Tamura, . "Buckwalter, Ralph Earl (1923-1980)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1986. Web. 28 Jul 2014. http://gameo.org/index.php?title=Buckwalter,_Ralph_Earl_(1923-1980)&oldid=86322.
Yoshiaka Tamura, . (1986). Buckwalter, Ralph Earl (1923-1980). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 28 July 2014, from http://gameo.org/index.php?title=Buckwalter,_Ralph_Earl_(1923-1980)&oldid=86322.
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