It was a bright and sunny day when the angels came down from heaven and carried our shining star away. Ralph passed away peacefully on Sunday, Nov. 29.
Ralph was born on Dec. 20, 1932, in Evanston. He was raised on a family ranch in Hilliard with seven brothers and two sisters.
Ralph married June Etta Cook, from Evanston, and they had seven beautiful daughters: Colleen (Gene) David, Pauline Pierce, Susan (John) Fenus, Nancy (Denny) Lewis, Annette (Al) Lutze, Linda Pierce and Crystal (Kelley) Johnson; fifteen grandchildren, 11 great-grandchildren and two great-great-grandchildren.
They later divorced. Ralph married Lila Arlea Robbins Lee and opened his heart to her children, Ken (Cleone) Lee and Cindy (Kris) Albert; seven grandchildren, 22 great-grandchildren and two great-great-grandchildren.
Over the course of his life, Ralph enjoyed many different jobs and hobbies. He was a rancher, sheep herder, logger, fencer and a mountain man. He loved animals, hunting, fishing, camping, trapping, cutting timber and going for rides in the mountains. He was “tough as nails” and old-ashioned — his respect for family traditions passed down through generations caught the eye of National Geographic magazine. They came down and interviewed him and wrote an article about his tradition, and it was published in 1994.
He loved the smell of fresh-cut pine trees at Christmastime, and every year would cut them for family and friends. He also cut cords of wood for family, friends and customers so they would have hearty warmth for the winter. He loved anything to do with animals and the outdoors.
If he wasn’t out enjoying adventures outdoors, he would be in the garage sharpening his saws or tinkering with things.
Ralph was one of the funniest, hardworking, most generous and loving people you could hope to meet. You could always count on him to roll up the sleeves on his flannel shirt and “get the chores done.”
He lived an amazing life, full of many adventures and much laughter with the stories he would tell about things he had done and seen.
He is preceded in death by his parents, Joe and Stella Pierce; brothers, Chet, John, Bill, Roger, Don, Keith and Russell; sisters, Vida and Bonnie; a daughter, Pauline Pierce, and her two children, Niki and James; and many other loved ones.
Ralph was loved by many and he will be greatly missed.
Services and a celebration of life will be held at a later date. In lieu of flowers, please consider donating to Alzheimer’s research.
Condolences may be made at www.crandallfhevanston.com.