Oct. 21, 1940 – July 22, 2014
Ralph Lew Parker, 73, beloved husband, father, grandfather and great-grandfather, died Tuesday, July 22, 2014, surrounded by his family after battling a long illness.
Ralph was born in Cowley on Oct. 21, 1940 to Bertha Gifford Parker and Claude Lew Parker. He grew up on the farm with his three brothers and two sisters. He met and married his true love, Donna Maynard, on Feb. 24, 1960. Ralph was the father of three children, Debra McKelvey, Jeffery (Gail) Parker and Ralph Parker, Jr.
Ralph had many talents and skills. As a farmer he had the ability to grow crops on the toughest piece of ground. He dearly loved attending the cattle sales in Billings and most often brought home calves that required extra loving care. Animals saw a kindred spirit in Ralph and naturally gravitated toward him.
He had the ability to repair farm equipment and engines of all varieties. His knowledge and skills were always available to family and friends. It was common for Ralph to receive phone calls from his kids and grandkids to troubleshoot a vehicle.
Ralph enjoyed elk hunting with his family. Happy hours were spent riding horses and sharing stories. Following retirement, Ralph and Donna purchased a motor home and traveled through the western United States. They later settled in Buckeye, Ariz., to enjoy the sunshine and spend time with their youngest son, Ralph.
Ralph’s death has left a large hole in the family and he was a mentor, parent, grandparent, friend and companion. Ralph is survived by his loving wife of 54 years, his three children, nine grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren.
A memorial service will be held at the LDS Church in Cowley on Aug. 23 at 4 p.m. Ashes will be spread at a private family service at a later date.