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Ralph's Biography

Not enough room here for all he accomplished but I'll do my best.

Born: July 24, 1917- Bellows Falls Vermont

Met lifelong love Eleanor at age 13 in 1920

Served in the Vermont Army National Guard and U.S. Army 1936- 1962

For service during WWII and Korea after being shot three times and displaying gallantry in action against an enemy of the United States on multiple accounts, Ralph was awarded three Purple Hearts and two Silver Stars. The Silver Star is the fifth highest award given by the Army.

He served in the 91st Infantry Division in Africa and Italy from  April 1941 to September 1945 and in the 2nd Infantry Division in Korea from 1950 to March 1951. While serving in Korea he was hit by machine gun fire. He suffered serious injury to his lower abdomen and had to have seven feet of his lower intestines removed. Unfortunately for him, they had limited anesthesia and could only use a local to do the procedure. They threw up a quick tent across his chest to conceal the operation from his view as they cut in and pulled out the affected intestine. Unaware to the doctors, Ralph watched the procedure in the reflection of the medicine cabinet. During this same injury incident Ralph was also hit in the chest by machine gun fire. His trusty pocket notebook took that bullet for him, preventing what could have been a fatal heart injury. Now this would be about enough to do most  of us in, but Ralph still had one more amazing brush with death during this attack. A grenade attached to his chest was hit by one of the machine gun bullets causing the pin to come out. Lucky for Ralph his Sergeant was a quick thinker. He ripped the grenade from Ralph's chest and hurled it over the cliff moments before it exploded. The rugged mountainous terrain and Ralph's life threatening wounds put Ralph in a position to be one of the first helicopter evacuees.

Now that's incredible!

On December 23, 1939 Ralph married his first love Eleanor. They celebrated 67 years of marriage before her passing in November 2007.

Upon completion of his 26 year military career, Ralph settled in Jacksonville, FL were he accepted a job with the IRS.  

Ralph survived The Great Depression, WWII, the Korean War, and life on Jacksonville's wild, wild Westside.

Nobody could ask for a more fulfilling life.

He was accomplished, humble, generous, courteous, honest, kind, loving, and thoughtful and will be missed by many friends and family members. 

 

The Silver Star is awarded to a person who, while serving in any capacity with the U.S. Army, is cited for gallantry in action against an enemy of the United States while engaged in military operations involving conflict with an opposing foreign force, or while serving with friendly foreign forces engaged in armed conflict against an opposing armed force in which the United States is not a belligerent party. The Purple Heart is awarded in the name of the President of the United States to any member of an Armed Force who, while serving with the U.S. Armed Services after 5 April 1917, has been wounded or killed, or who has died or may hereafter die after being wounded

A similar notebook could be credited with saving Ralph's life. I never saw him without a notebook in his pocket.

 
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