Ralph Junior Ratliff died at his daughter’s home in Hood River on Nov. 18, 2002, surrounded by his children. He was 74 years of age.
Ralph was born Jan. 25, 1928, in San Mateo, Calif., the youngest child of Ralph and Irene Ratliff. After graduating from Sequoia High School in Redwood City, Calif., Ralph served with the Merchant Marines and was a veteran of World War II.
Ralph married Beatrice Meyers in the Bay Area in 1946, where he helped to run the family’s ambulance service, the first of its kind in the area. They moved with their five children from the Bay Area to Parkdale in 1967. Ralph bartended for many years at several establishments, including Eddie Mays Inn, the Elks and the American Legion; as much for pleasure as for work. He was also owner and operator of the Enco gas station on the Heights in Hood River in the late 1960s and early 1970s. In the late 1970s and early 1980s Ralph operated Ralph’s Floor Covering in Hood River. In the last few years “Rotten Ralphie” was a familiar face at the Hood River Toll Bridge.
Ralph was an avid outdoorsman, whether it was hunting for game with friends and family or hunting for mushrooms with Richard Shirrod. He also enjoyed fishing at the local lakes with his grandchildren and ocean fishing with his buddies. Gambling was a favorite hobby, often down in Laughlin, Nev,. with his sister and her family.
Ralph was a lifelong member of the Elks, for 36 years, and also a member of the American Legion.
Ralph was preceded in death by his mother, father, sister and brothers. He is survived by four daughters, Joanne Ratliff of San Jose, Calif., Lenore Martinez, Sherry Ervin and Mitch Travelstead, and Terry Parks and her husband Ron, all of Hood River; a son, Chris Ratliff and his wife Susan; sister-in-law Carol Ratliff of Hood River and her children, including her son Bob Ratliff of Odell; cousins Gary Haseltine of Hood River and Chloe Ann Jones of Hermiston, Ore.; lifelong friend and godfather to his children, George Mohun of Hood River; niece Debi Sahli and nephew Tom Collinsboth of Laughlin, Nev., and nephew Rick Collins of San Diego, Calif.; step-daughter Nicki Porter of Portland, Ore.; 14 grandchildren and 6 great-grandchildren.
Memorial contributions may be made to Hospice of The Gorge.
A celebration of life will be on Dec. 8 at 2:30 p.m. at Hood River Elks Lodge.
Thelma Vesta “Sally” Kile, a former Hood River resident, died Nov. 18, 2002, in Oregon City, Ore. She was 101 years of age.
Thelma Vesta Cameron was born July 30, 1901, in Hood River, Ore. She was raised in the Hood River Valley and graduated from Odell High School. During WWII she moved to the Portland area. She married Hiram Felix Kile, who preceded her in death in 1964.
She worked as a physical therapist at Johnny Johnson’s Salon, and retired in the early 1970s.
Thelma was preceded in death by her three children and seven brothers and sisters, four of whom also lived in the Hood River Valley.
She is survived by 10 grandchildren, 10 great-grandchildren and six great-great-grandchildren.
A graveside service will be held Nov. 23 at 11 a.m., at Idlewild Cemetery.
Arrangements are being handled by Hillside Chapel of Oregon City. Those who wish may make remembrances to OHSU Aging and Alzheimers Research.
Willis Henry Miller, of Escondido, Calif., died Nov. 10, 2002, in a convalescent home there. He was 96 years of age.
Willis was born May 20, 1906, in Hood River. He attended Odell High School and was a self-employed farmer for 52 years. He had been living in San Diego County for the last 27 years.
Willis was preceded in death by his wife, Eva, in October 2002. He is survived by daughter Norma Jean Willis of Hood River; grandsons Richard Willis, Gary Willis and Mike Willis, all of Hood River; granddaughter Pam Naylor of Portland, Ore.; eight great-grandchildren and four great-great-grandchildren.
Inurnment is in Crystal Cathedral Memorial Gardens, Garden Grove, Calif.
Verna Howell, a Hood River, Ore., resident died Nov. 21, 2002, at Providence Hood River Memorial Hospital.
A full obituary will appear in the next edition of the Hood River News.
Arrangements are pending at Anderson’s Tribute Center, 541-386-1000.
Harriett A. Renfroe, a Wilsonville, Ore., resident, died Nov. 19, 2002, in Hood River, Ore. She was 88 years of age. Services will be held in Gig Harbor, Wash., at a later date. Arrangements by Anderson’s Tribute Center, 541-386-1000.