On August 4, 1937, he married a Twin Falls native, Marie Turner, and they had two children. During the post-Depression era, jobs were hard to come by and money was scarce. A man of many talents and familiar to “work”, Ralph made a living for them by working for “Snowball” Latham in a speakeasy (when it was not legal). He also worked in the Triumph Mine in Hailey – independently mining for lead and zinc, and he even tried his hand at farming. He had landed in Rio Tinto, Nevada, working in the Anaconda Copper Mine, when Japan bombed Pearl Harbor. He went with Terteling Construction building Igloos for ammunition storage in Hermiston, Oregon. At the age of 28, he was drafted into the Navy where he spent most of his time in Okinawa, Japan. After three years of military, he returned and bought the laundry building from the Hunt Japanese Relocation Center which he dismantled and used the lumber to build a home in Jerome, next to his parents. Elmer Turpin trained him to be a brick mason, and he earned his living this way for the next thirty years. In 1953, he bought the Jerome Bowl and had two jobs. After three years, he sold the bowling alley, reluctantly, as he enjoyed it and made many friends; it was just too much.
In 1970, he and Marie bought land, sight unseen, in Queen Valley, AZ, where they spent the next 30 years as snowbirds, enjoying the warm weather in their new home, but returning to Idaho in the summers to be near family. In 2006, they came full circle, back to Jerome to spend their final years. They checked in at Bridgeview and were very happy until Marie was diagnosed with cancer and died nine months later. Five months without his love was all he could take before he agreed to move in with his daughter, where he lived seven years, and finally moved into Creekside Care Center for the last eight months of his life.
Ralph was preceded in death by his son, Patrick, in 1975. This was by far the most difficult time he and Marie ever went through. He was never out of their thoughts and they kept his memory alive through recalling events and recounting stories about his life with them. He was also preceded in death by his parents, four brothers (Frank, Mike, Pat and Cecil) and one sister (Lizzie Townsend).
Ralph is survived by his daughter, Sharon (Ed) Peterson, daughter-in-law Rita (Jim) Tinsley, five grandchildren – Jenny (Mark) Gihring, Lori Peterson, Arnold (Amy) Peterson, Wade (April) O’Harrow, and Tyler O’Harrow, and thirteen great-grandchildren.
The family wishes to express their gratitude to the personnel at Creekside for the excellent care furnished to their dad / grandpa.
Memorial services will be conducted at 1:30 PM, Friday March 21, 2014, at the Jerome Senior Citizen Center, 520 North Lincoln, Jerome. Arrangements are under the care of Farnsworth Mortuary of Jerome.