James E. "Jim" Ralston, 96, of Ottawa, Kansas, died Tuesday, Feb. 16, 2021.
Funeral services will be 11 a.m., Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2021, at Dengel & Son Mortuary, Ottawa, with Masonic services by Ottawa Lodge No. 18, A.F. & A.M. Family will meet with friends from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. prior to service. Interment Highland Cemetery in Ottawa, with military honors by Fort Riley Honor Guard. Memorial contributions may be made to Ottawa First United Methodist Church or VFW Post 5901 c/o Dengel & Son Mortuary, 235 S. Hickory, Ottawa, KS 66067. Family and friends are encouraged to post their condolences and memories on Jim’s Tribute Wall at www.dengelmortuary.com.
Jim was born August 9, 1924 in Montrose, Pennsylvania, the son of William H. and Della Evans (Chaffee) Ralston.
He moved in 1940 with his family to Ottawa from Montrose, Pennsylvania. Starting in 1951, he and his family moved several times with his work and returned to Ottawa in 1957.
Jim attended Ottawa High School and later earned his General Equivalency Development Diploma.
Jim served in the United States Army during World War II from June 1943 until December 1945, attaining the rank of Private First Class. He served in the Ryukus Campaign and in the Southern Philippines and received the Philippines Liberation Ribbon with two Bronze Service Stars, Asiatic Pacific Service Medal, World War II Victory Medal and Good Conduct Medal. Following his active service, he served in the National Guard of Kansas as a Corporal in Hq Btry, 127th FA Bn until being honorably discharged on Nov. 17, 1951.
On Monday, June 29, 1942, Jim was united in marriage to Rose Marceline “Marty” Barnes at Harrisonville, Missouri. She preceded him in death on Oct. 10, 2005.
He was also preceded in death by parents, William and Della Ralston; brothers, William “Bill” Ralston and David Ralston; sister, Sarah “Sally” Brotton; great-grandson, Chet Fredricks and sons-in-law, Ray Larrick and Bud Elder.
Survivors include daughters, Kay Wilburn and husband, Bob; and Carolyn Elder, all of Ottawa; son, Jim Ralston, Jr., of Shawnee, Kansas; grandson, Ryan Schnoke and wife, Cristina, of San Antonio, Texas; granddaughters, Brenda Fredricks and husband, Cheste,r of Williamsburg; Trisha Kaub and husband, Dan, of Ottawa; Traci Martin and husband, Michael, of Lubbock, Texas; Tori Wilson and husband, Russ, of Ottawa; and Heather Ralston; 13 great-grandchildren and one great-great granddaughter.
He worked as a heavy equipment operator for several construction companies until 1968; for Killough, Inc., from 1968 until 1978 as a truck owner/driver; at Ned Hiatt’s Country Sales from 1978 until 1986, servicing recreational vehicles and for Franklin County for a year and a half before retiring in 1986.
He was a member of First United Methodist Church and the Oxford Service Forum Sunday school class, Ottawa Lodge No. 18, Ancient Free & Accepted Masons, a Charter and Life Member of Veterans of Foreign Wars Memorial Post 5901, a Life Member of the Ottawa Promenaders and Pioneer Plus Square Dance Clubs and volunteered many years as a driver for Meals on Wheels.
Posted online on February 17, 2021