By Ralph V. Little, Jr.
Ralph V. Little, Sr., moved on to join his wife and look after the rest of us on January 31, 2011 from his chosen favorite location in Jacksonville, Florida. Born a Vermonter of George and Mary, he grew up through the Great Depression and served his family and nation proudly as an all around good man with values instilled by those times. He always sought to help his family, neighbors and friends in any way and never wanted to impose on anyone for his own needs. From a simple beginning, he and his lifelong mate, Eleanor, spent their lives together in body from age 13 until 2007. Although predeceased to others, she has remained with him and they are now fully reunited. Ralph was truly of the Great Generation, having joined the Vermont Army National Guard, then going off to WWII in Africa and Italy as a company-grade Infantry officer always mindful of his soldier's welfare. A German sniper failed to end his life and he went on to lead with Herman Buie, the finest Platoon Sergeant you could have. His combat service continued when deployed to Korea where the Red Chinese failed to silence him with a grenade and the North Koreans failed again. Shot through by a machinegun, he became one of the first helicopter evacuees. He had a full military career serving in the German occupation and various peacetime posts, retiring to Florida for a quieter life after reaching the rank of Major with two Silver Stars and three Purple Hearts. Ralph continued to work in both Army civilian and federal jobs where he typically turned down promotions that they might go to younger workers. Ralph and Eleanor loved to dance and socialize with friends. He was a member of Moose Lodge 2020 on Collins Rd. and American Legion Post 137 on San Juan Ave. He enjoyed just taking care of those he loved and his house and yard, and that's where he adamantly stayed until he left us. He is survived by his son, Ralph, daughter-in-law, Jo Ann, niece Pat Ray, three grand-niece's, Maureen, Sharon and Suzanne, and their 5 children, all of Jacksonville, as well as niece Mary Bagley and nephew Edmund Abbott of Winter Garden, FL. Two nephews, Mo and Francis, a grand-niece, Ann-Marie, and grand- nephew, Danny, reside in Bellows Falls, VT, while three grand-nephews, Stephen, Mark and Mike, live in New Hampshire. A memorial celebration of his life will be held at 2:00 PM on February 3, 2011 with viewing from 1:00 PM until 2:00 PM at Jacksonville Memory Gardens Funeral Home, 111 Blanding Blvd., Orange Park, FL. Interment will be held with immediate family at a later date.