NORTH LIMA - Ralph Gebhardt, 85, passed away Tuesday afternoon at Assumption Village, where he had been a resident for the past two years.
Ralph was born on Feb. 19, 1928 in Youngstown, the son of S. Calvin and Dora (Wolf) Gebhardt.
He attended East High School, but joined the Marines his senior year. He proudly served as a Marine from Sept. 1944 to Sept. 1949, most of that time stationed in China. He was a radio operator and received a Sharpshooter's Award. He received an honorable discharge with the rank of Corporal.
Ralph was a licensed boiler operator, working at Fitzsimmons Steel in Youngstown, and later for Photogenic Machine and F.A. Pilgrim.
On Sept. 22, 1950, he married Eleanor Miles, truly a match made in heaven. Together, they had four children: Karl (Susan) Gebhardt, Diane (Bill) Greenawalt, Ralph (Lynn) Gebhardt, and Howard (Melissa) Gebhardt. Their home in New Springfield was a place where people felt welcome and where they hosted many family picnics and get-togethers.
Ralph loved gardening. He and Eleanor had many beautiful flower gardens and abundant vegetable gardens and were always happy to share their bounty with friends and neighbors.
He was a member of the American Rabbit Breeders Association, Farm Bureau, and the Buckeye Fancy Feathers Club. Ralph had a passion for raising chickens and showing them at the fair, an interest he passed down to his great-grandson. He loved listening to Tennessee Ernie Ford and making up songs and poems about his grandchildren.
He was a man of deep devotion to God, and lived a good and faithful life. He belonged to Paradise United Church of Christ in Canfield.
Besides his children, Ralph leaves to cherish his precious memories his nine grandchildren; 12 great-grandchildren; his brother Norman (Sally) Gebhardt of Birmingham, Mich.; and many nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his wife, Eleanor, who passed away in November of 2010; his parents; his brothers Carl, Howard, and Paul; and his sisters, Dorothy, Ruth, and Alberta.
Funeral services will be held on at noon on Saturday, Feb. 15 at Paradise Church with Reverend David Parry officiating.
The family will receive friends one hour prior to the services at the church.
In lieu of flowers, material contributions may be made to United Unity 4-H, 4153 Padgett Rd., East Palestine, OH 44413.
Family and friends are invited to visit www.seederly-mongandbeck.com to sign the guestbook or send private condolences.