Some of Ralph's friends comments:
A sad day.
Ralph was one of the most appealing, kind and lovable manly men I have known.
His joy in life and enthusiasm were contagious.
This is how I will remember him. An artist and a patriot with an ever present smile.
He was talented in many ways and taught me a lot in the few short years I got to know him. He became a dear friend. We had many laughs together and he will be dearly missed.
I only got to know Ralph the past few years. He offered to take me under his wing and teach me how to make segmented bowls as well as paint butterflies, etc. I am glad I took him up on it because I not only learned how to make segmented bowls and to paint, we actually spent more time laughing and I really got to know him as a the gentle manly man and patriot as Lowell so eloquently put it.
He was a good teacher and when I thought something looked pretty good, Ralph would tell me it was crap and keep working on it. It only made me better until he would finally tell me it looked good, but of course, not a good as his. We talked science (since we both had a science background), guns, politics and anything that came to his mind. Only one can imagine with Ralph.
But most of all, I feel extremely blessed to have had his friendship. This meant more to me than everything he taught me. My wife and I also got to know Ellie and had dinner with them on numerous occasions. She also had a great sense of humor. I guess she had to being married to Ralph for that many years.
He will be missed.
It is a sad day indeed for the Woodturning community. We have lost a talented artist as well as a dear friend. Will keep Ellie and their family in my prayers
We had a lot of fun with Ralph over the years. We will all remember him.
Ralph was a man who was a friend to everyone he met. I know that I along with everyone else at Doc's will miss his presence.
I have known Ralph for many years and will definitely miss his sense of humor, his story telling and his zest. My prayers are with Ralph’s wife and family.
Unfortunately I met Ralph only a couple of years ago. Didn't take long to recognize that he was a quality person. I enjoyed talking to him and finding what kind of pistol he was carrying that day. He was a man who left a good mark on the world while he lived.
Ralph had a great sense of humor. He liked to make a false statement and then look at you to see if you were biting on it. He was teaching me to pronounce Italian words, including his name, correctly. We shall miss him.
I will always remember Ralph's sense of humor. He had the ability to mess with us all with a smile on his face.
Ralph was always a bright spot with a sly smile and a dry humor. We will miss him. Butterflies and so much more.
I’m glad I took him up on his offer to paint a butterfly on one of my turnings in exchange for the twin of the piece.
I remember too his excitement about his concealed carry permit and his pistols and holsters. Always studying to obtain the best combination and choosing the right ammunition.
As we all know, Ralph was an incredible person with a great wit and sense of humor. When I think back to some of the "traveling bowls" and we didn't know how to fix them, we just said "Ralph can paint a butterfly over that" and he did and made it great. He will be missed but thankfully the memories will be with us.
This past year or so we only got to see him a limited amount of times but each one of those was wonderful experience. I spoke with him about a week and half ago, shortly after Jim Goethel visited him. He had cancelled his chemo appointment due to an upper respiratory infection which we now know was pneumonia. Except for a nagging cough, he sounded fine and was in great spirits and was going to reschedule the chemo for the following Monday. Each week he was getting better and was going to come visit with us all. Unfortunately, he didn't make it...
I’m going to miss Ralph with the rest of you. He was a bright spot anytime he was around. I now sorely regret not taking him up on his offer to show me how to paint butterflies. Rest in peace Ralph.
Ralph was definitely one of the good guys. He will be missed. It's going to be tough to make a traveling bowl without him.
Ralph taught me how to do bowls with open segments. He was also going to make me a world class sword fighter, or should I say fencer.
We will keep him and his family in our prayers.
I only knew Ralph a short time but in that time I apprediated his painted pieces and the ever present smile.
We met Ralph a long time ago when he first joined the club. We all looked forward to hearing Ralph describe a turning or a turning with a butterfly. His description was always straight faced, with a sly smile, and it made everyone laugh. Everyone looked forward to Ralph telling a story.
A little mention was made of his fencing. Most don't know that Ralph won a NCAA gold medal in fencing, The only one his university has ever won, he said. He was also a PhD in Pharmacology and disputed (by trying to replicate an experiment published in a pharmacy magazine, which he proved couldn't be done) an award winning study. The same magazine wouldn't publish Ralph's work.
One day John Lannom and I were invited over to cut some wood that was down. Ralph also gave us a tour of his shop and showed us all of his tools, plus he fixed us an Italian lunch complete with asparagus all while telling us stories. I asked him about all of the tools in the shop. He shushed me and said Ellie doesn't know about the tools because he brings them in through a basement entrance. You can picture Ralph grinning as he said that. I think Ralph had maybe three different rooms that served as his workshop and they were all filled with tools. We all wish we had spent more time with him. He will be missed.