Kenneth William RalphAugust 11, 1922 ~ May 17, 2017 (age 94)
Kenneth William Ralph, of Holyoke MA, died peacefully on May 17,2017. Loving husband of the late Marian (MacMillan) Hair Ralph who died Nov 13, 2016. Son of William and Joan (Cochran) Ralph born Aug 11, 1922 at South Weymouth. Following attendance at Naval Aircraft School in Boston, Ken went to Baltimore attending Johns Hopkins University while employed at an aircraft plant until enlisting into the US Army Air Corps in 1942.after earning his wings in 1943 he was sent as a commissioned officer overseas to the South West Pacific. A fighter pilot with the famous P-38 fighter outfit "Satan's Angels" he saw much action from the air. Ken was known to have taken part in over 50 missions and a remarkable 150 combat flights. He received the Air Medal award for meritorious achievement participating in sustained operational flight missions against the Japanese. Captain Ralph received his 4th Oak Cluster in Okinawa as a member of the 5th Air Force Fighters Command's 475 Group. After the War Ken was needed to step into the family business started by his grandfather Oswald Ralph in 1895. Ken married in 1948, Marjorie Thompson Leonard. They had 4 children Cynthia J, William, Steven L and the late Leonard A. After a divorce in 1968, Ken remarried in 1969 Marion M Hair of Rochester, N Y. They enjoyed renovating old houses including the former Chester Bowles House on Maple St in Springfield. Besides raising Marian's 3 young children George, John and Abby all from a former husband they enjoyed tennis, cycling, horseback riding, dancing, bridge and gardening. They turned their small farm in Colrain into a plant and fruit tree nursery and built their great family get-away home with magnificent views of the Green Mts. After spending enjoyable winters in Ft Meyers they spent their last years at Providence Place in Holyoke enjoying the growing family, much reading and keeping up with the Red Sox. Besides his children, he leaves many grandchildren and several great-grandchildren. Ken is also survived by his sisters Mrs Joan Finch of Norwell, Mrs Janice Bancroft and her husband Dick, and many nieces and nephews. Their eldest sister Mrs Barbara Page died last year. The entire family thanks our very dear sister Abby Pellegrino for her selfless and loving devotion in caring for our beloved parents throughout their illnesses. We would also like to thank the 8 hospice care givers who were equally and lovingly attentive to Dad during his sad last months without his deeply missed wife and friend. All services were held privately. Barry J. Farrell Funeral Home handled arrangements.