Ralph , beloved husband, father, grandfather and friend died 2 months prior to his 88th birthday. Ralph was born and raised in Boise Idaho. As a young boy, he helped his dad in the grocery store they owned. He was very active in Boy Scouts and achieved the rank of Life Scout, which is one level below Eagle.
In high school, he was active in ROTC and was named platoon leader. At age 17, he enrolled at Boise Junior College as a pre-med student, planning to attend dental school. At the same time, he joined the Idaho Air National Guard. This sparked Ralphs life-long love of aviation. By then, he decided he was not interested in becoming a dentist and instead began his career as an air traffic controller in Boise.
Ralph worked for 43 years in that profession, moving seven times as he was promoted to a variety of management jobs. He loved going to work every day. He retired in May 1994.
Ralph and his first wife Dorma had four children- a son, three daughters and later welcomed 4 grandchildren.
Ralph gave his children an adventurous childhood, taking them on long road trips, camping in state and national parks across the western US.
After 43 years, Ralph lost Dorma to pancreatic cancer. Two years later, he was introduce to Kay Hess via email. After corresponding for six months they finally met. Two years later on Valentine's Day 2006, they married in Destin, Florida where they continued to winter as snowbirds for several years.
Since marring Kay, they welcomed a new grandson, grand daughter and 2 great-grandchildren.
Ralph and Kay moved to Heron's Key Continuing Care community in Gig Harbor, Washington in 2017. They love this community of loving, caring residents. They felt they made the best decision to move there where they could remain active and participate in a variety of activities.
Ralph believed he was the luckiest guy in the world, and he was. He had a long and loving first marriage, a great career, and children and grandchildren he adored. And, for his second act, he met and married Kay. They had a wonderful 16 plus years together. Two silver hearts!
The love of travel took Ralph and Kay all over the world. The love of travel brought them together and they were still doing that when Ralph died. They were on a river boat trip to the Great Lakes when Ralph fell ill. He passed away after 22 days in The Cleveland Clinic.
Ralph had a special Celebration of Life at Heron's Key attended by 34 family and friends that traveled from all over the US, in addition to most of the Heron's Key community. His ashes will be interned in a private family service at a later date.