Wednesday, January 18, 2023

Obituary - Ralph Harrelson

Ralph Harrelson, 84, of Clinton, Missouri passed away on Tuesday, January 17, 2023 at the Clinton Healthcare and Rehab Center in Clinton, Missouri.

On February 17, 1938 a boy child was born into the world. He was the son of Emmett Ray and Ella Marie (Halsey) Harrelson. They gave him the name of Ralph Richard Harrelson. 

He attended public school in Clinton, MO. The family is not quite sure of the last grade of school that he completed, as he always said that “he went to the picnic and then went back the next day to see if there were any leftovers”.

Ralph was born into a large family, which was the norm at the time. Ralph had five brothers and two sisters that he grew up with. Ralph, along with his father and brothers spent a many an hour in the Grand River bottoms hunting squirrels, raccoons, and fishing. His family had a cabin just a few hundred yards from Grand River. The love of hunting, especially with dogs, is a passion that he had throughout his life. In his prime, Ralph would hunt the ring tail raccoon at night and then wake up the next morning to chase coyotes with his dogs in the open country. When recently asked by his granddaughters of what on earth reminded him of heaven, he said listening to Mike, Shakespeare, and Reno, which were three of his best running dogs. This is truly the man that he was, take it or leave it!

When Ralph was a young man, he had several jobs. He worked at the Standard Gas Station behind the post office when he spied a young lady walking from the Union State Bank to the post office. He asked her for a date and they ended up spending the better part of the next 67 years together. Ralph and Mary Lou (Brown) Harrelson were married on August 17, 1957 in her parents house on south Water Street. To this union were born two children, Paula and Jeff. Ralph accepted Christ as his Savior in October of 2004 and was encouraged in baptism by his grandson Matthew.

Ralph was a construction laborer when the Montrose power plant was built. Ralph then went to work for the City of Clinton Public Work for the next 39 years and retired in 2004 as the Street Superintendent. Ralph spent many hours late at night plowing snow in the winter-time and hauling rock from the quarries in the summer time. Ralph loved gardening, especially when he could share his harvest with neighbors, friends, and family. Ralph raised many animals in his lifetime including horses, ponies, goats, chickens, pheasants, and most recently angus cattle. Ralph was a long time member of the Henry County Fox Hunters Association.

Ralph was preceded in death by his parents; brothers Gene, Bill, Donald, and Joe; sisters Juanita Cooper and Wanda Packer; father-in-law Paul Brown; and mother-in-law Lucille Brown. Ralph is survived by his wife of 65 years, Mary Lou Harrelson. Ralph is survived by his daughter Paula (Scott) Jones and their children Matthew (Tabitha) Jones and Meagan (Matt) Johnson. Ralph is survived by his son Jeff (Shelley) Harrelson and their children Caraline (Christopher) Hill, Preston (Hailee) Harrelson, Kayla Harrelson, and Gretchen Harrelson. Ralph is survived by great-grandchildren Tucker Johnson, Adalyn Jones, Maggie Johnson, Liam Johnson, Avery Jones, Elsie Hill, Duke Harrelson, Emmett Hill, Stella Aunquoe, and Sage Harrelson. Ralph is also survived by his brother Larry (Sharon) Harrelson and sister-in-law Jerene Harrelson.

The family suggests that any memorial contributions be made to Golden Valley Memorial Healthcare Hospice and can be left in care of the funeral home.

Arrangements have been entrusted to Vansant-Mills Funeral Home in Clinton, Missouri and are pending at this time.

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