Robert Ray RalstonRobert Ray Ralston, 91, died Saturday, Feb. 1, 2014.
Robert Ray Ralston, 91, died Saturday, Feb. 1, 2014, at Edgewood Vista in Virginia, Minn. He passed quietly, surrounded by his family.
He was born July 14, 1922, in Duluth to Peter and Anna Caroline (Johnson) Ralston.
He spent his childhood years in Chisholm and Buhl, and graduated from Virginia High School in 1940. After graduation he enlisted in the U.S. Navy, attended boot camp at Great Lakes, and transferred to the USS Colorado BB-45 on Oct. 9, 1940. After also serving on the USS Indiana on the West Coast, the USS Hamul in the Atlantic, and on the destroyers USS Rooks and USS McCord thereafter, he was discharged from active duty on July 23, 1946. During his active military career he served at Marianas, Saipan, Tinian, Philippine Sea, Peleu, Marcus, Samar, Iwo Jima, Okinawa Gunto, and Kerama Retto to Nagasaki and Sasebo. He was the youngest Chief Machinist's Mate to serve in the United States Navy during World War II. He remained in the Naval Reserve for another 30 years.
After the war, he returned to Virginia where he worked for the Public Utilities for 30 years, retiring as the Chief Engineer. He retired from the U.S. Navy as Chief Warrant Officer 4 on June 30, 1976.
He met the love of his life, Marie Dorothea Johnson, when they were in the ninth grade. They graduated from high school together, and were united in marriage Dec. 29, 1945, in Virginia. Bob and Marie were married for 67 years, and together they raised a strong family. Bob had an inventive spirit, and often used 'navy ingenuity' to build, repair, or jury-rig whatever he needed. One man's junk is another man's treasure, and Bob had garages full of treasures that he shared with anyone who was looking for a part, a doohickey, a whatchamacallit, or a thingamajig. He loved the outdoors, fishing, hunting waterfowl and big game, teaching his children and grandchildren about the woods, and sharing the traditions of the family hunt. There was many a "good day in the woods" that ended with everyone safely back in camp, gathered around the table and telling stories of days gone by. He was a loving husband, a great Dad and Grandpa, and friend. He will be sadly missed.
Bob was a member of Gethsemane Evangelical Lutheran Church of Virginia, a life member of the Virginia Elks Lodge, Past Commander of the American Legion Post 239, Past Master of the Virginia Masonic Lodge, member of the VFW and 40/8, National Association of Power Engineers, Fleet Reserve Association, life member of Military Officers Association of America, an active member of the community, and a proud veteran.
Bob was preceded in death by his wife Marie; his parents, and his brother Lloyd Ralston.
Bob is survived by his children, Raymond H. Ralston of Shoreview, Minn. Roger A. (Nancy) Ralston of Grand Rapids, Minn., Michael P. (Nancy) Ralston of Virginia, and Mary Jo (Steven Walters) Ralston of Virginia; nine grandchildren, Peter (Dawn) Ralston, Greg (Tiffany) Ralston, Susan (Brian) Dorer, Rebecca (John) Bartlett, Daniel (Kelly) Ralston, Elizabeth (Joshua) Howe, Deborah Ralston, Sarah (Bryan) Mills, and Jeffrey (Ashley) Ralston; 16 great grandchildren, Elsa and Carl Ralston; Ellie Ralston; Marianna, Emma, and Brian Jr. Dorer; Nora, Clara, and Samuel Bartlett; Jacob and Jack Ralston; Juliet and Vincent Howe; James and Julia Kyes; and Mila Marie Ralston; and numerous nieces, nephews, and friends who mourn his death.
The family wishes to thank the caregivers at Edgewood Vista for their kind and compassionate attention to Bob during the last several months.
PRIVATE FAMILY SERVICES: will be held. Interment will be at Greenwood Cemetery with Military rites in the spring. The family invites friends to a time of fellowship and sharing to celebrate Bob's life from 3 to 5 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 6, 2014, at the Virginia Elks Lodge. Memorials may be directed to the Virginia Community Foundation. Arrangements are by the Landmark Funeral Home of Virginia.
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