Dec. 11, 1939-Nov. 28, 2018
Aaron Ezekier Ralph Sr. passed away in his home surrounded by his family on November 28th, 2018 after a fierce battle with heart and kidney disease. He was born December 11th, 1939 in Butte to James and Ann Francis Ralph. He was the baby of the family and had a sister Anne, and a brother James, who both preceded his death. He grew up in Walkerville and was known as the toughest “SOB” in the valley. Growing up he loved boxing and was the Golden Gloves champion. He went on to coach many boxers and referee many matches. He served in the Army and traveled overseas and was stationed in Germany where he served as a military police officer and boxed for the 4th Armored Division.
He married the love of his life June Paynter on September 2nd, 1965, and they recently celebrated 53 years together. Together they had 3 children -- Aaron Jr., Gina, and Seana, which were some of his life’s greatest blessings. His career path took him to many places including logging in the family business with his son, late father-in-law Bob Paynter, and the Lorengo family. He also served as the Walkerville sheriff in which he had many great stories, one of which included ticketing the mayor. He then was employed at UBC/Pro Build which he spent many years as a teamster and yard foreman and he retired there in 2001, to help take care of his twin grandchildren. His passion was being a vocal union member, which he has passed onto his son. He was a master woodworker who spent countless hours making beautiful creations ranging from bowls to cribs that he had made for his grandchildren. He fixed everything and had a solution for every problem we encountered. We called him “Papa Fix It”.
He was a strong and generous soul, and his family meant everything to him and he shared a special bond of love with his grandchildren, which he would describe as his greatest joy and blessing. He would give the shirt off his back to help anyone that needed it. His strength was evidenced even up until his last breath. He was the patriarch of our family and he has taught us many life lessons that we will carry with us forever. He always said,” treat others like you would want to be treated, always keep your word, always tell the truth, and always do your best”. He touched the lives of everyone he met and will forever leave an impression in our hearts.
He was a member of the Butte Seventh Day Adventist Church and his ministry of love was giving his hand made creations to its members. He will be forever missed.
He is survived by his wife, June; son, Aaron Ralph Jr. and Colleen of Walkerville, daughters and sons-in-law, Gina and Carl Taylor of Wyoming and Seana Ralph-Puderbaugh and Don Puderbaugh of Walkerville; his grandkids, Brittany, Alona and Chance, Isabelle, Brandon, Lil Aaron and his wife Michelee, Jessi and Mike, Kiara, Kaleb, and Ethan; his great-grandchildren, Carter, Braxtin, Blake, Bailey, Brooklynn, Carson, Cooper, and Astra; and numerous nieces, nephews and cousins. He is also survived by his extra daughter Shelly and her husband Bill and granddaughter Lil Brittney of Seattle.
At his request, cremation has taken place and no services are planned at this time to honor Aaron’s wishes. A memorial service celebrating his life for family and a Final Salute for his Military Service will be held at a later date. Memorials can be made in memory of Aaron to the Highland View Christian School at 2504 Grand Ave., Butte, MT 59701 to provide tuition help for needy students.
We love you Papa, and as he would always say “it’s not goodbye, it’s see ya later”.