Ralph Francis Bellows returned to his Heavenly Father on August 1, 2013 at the age of 77. In his life he often said that the best times were those when the whole family was together. This is how he lived his life, and this is how he left this Earth. Ralph was a loving and active man, and enjoyed a long life of health and service. A sudden stroke suffered on July 31, 2013 finally brought his life to an end. His family remains comforted knowing that this great spiritual being resides snugly in the arms of his Savior, and will be looking down on them all as they move on with the remainder of their lives here on Earth.
Ralph was very proud of his heritage, and raised his children not far from his family home in Lake Shore, UT where he was born. Ralph, and his twin sister Rhea were born on September 11, 1935. He was welcomed into this life by his parents, Norman and Donna (Francis) Bellows, and his older brother Merrill. Ralph lost his mother early in life at the age of 21. She was very dear to him, and as his health began to fail, his family was reassured by his great anticipation of seeing his "mom" again. Ralph married his eternal companion Sharon Houghton on August 11, 1956. They remained a beautiful couple throughout their 58 years in mortality together, being named Lake Shore couple of the year in 2009. Everyone who knew them was strengthened by their love for each other. Ralph and Sharon moved to Salt Lake City, UT shortly after their marriage, and resided there for 16 years before returning to Lake Shore to build a home. They faced many challenges over the years, but set an enduring example to their children and their grandchildren as these struggles strengthened their marriage and brought them closer together.
Ralph served for two years in the United States Army, yet his patriotism never left him. Ralph was the first to stand at any celebration in which our flag was flown. He would often express irritation at those "damned kids" who would not stand and honor the flag and our country. He would glow with pride as our Country's servicemen were honored at sporting events or community celebrations. He often spoke fondly of his time in service, and frequently commented on his grandchildren who serve or have served in the armed forces. After retirement he served proudly in the American Legion, honoring countless of his fellow veterans during their passing. Ralph was a hard worker and provider, working long hours and continually seeking educational advancements during his 37 years at Univac. He often spoke of his failings in "reading, writing, and arithmetic," yet those who knew him greatly revered his love of learning. He was often remembered as saying that he was "no good" at something so as to offer the other an opportunity to teach him. Such simple acts made him one of life's greatest teachers. He also worked as a clerk for the Strawberry Water Users Association for 35 years. Ralph was liked by everyone who knew him, and this provided many varied successes in his professional life.
Ralph's greatest sources of pride in life were his family and his membership in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Ralph served faithfully in every calling from librarian to the Bishopric. Ralph often used his Priesthood Authority to bless the lives of his family and others. He found great comfort in his Church Endowment, and knew with conviction that he was sealed for time and all eternity to those whom he loved most. Ralph loved the outdoors, and spent many free days in the Wasatch Mountains hunting, fishing, and camping with his family. While a youth he worked summers at Yellowstone National Park. He frequently returned there with his children and grandchildren. Ralph was a student of history, and his reading centered around Military, Church, and American history literature. Ralph found a dream fulfilled as he and Sharon served an honorable, full-time mission in the Australia Brisbane mission. He loved to help others, and was a man who taught and lived with love.
Ralph was preceded in death by his older brother Merrill, and his twin sister Rhea (Francom). He is survived by his wife Sharon, his seven children DeAnn (Wes) Anderson, Janet (Brian) Sanford, Keith (Lisa) Bellows, Charlotte Bellows, Ryan (Anna) Bellows, Jennifer (Evan) Harker, and Aaron (Troy) Bellows, and many grandchildren and great-grandchildren. A viewing will be held Sunday August 4, 2013 from 6 - 8 PM at the LDS Stake Center located at 452 West 550 South in Spanish Fork, UT. Funeral services will be held August 5th at 11 AM, with an additional viewing for traveling friends and family 90 minutes prior to the services. If any of Ralph's friends and neighbors would like to help the family remember and honor him the family has asked that a simple note be written containing special memories of Ralph and what he meant to them so the family could open them at a later time in memory of Ralph and his influence on those around him. These will be gratefully accepted at the funeral, or could be mailed to his eldest daughter at the address listed below.
1109 E 180 S
Spanish Fork, UT 84660
Ralph will be missed by all, and will live on for time immemorial in the hearts and minds of those who knew him.
"I am not learned, but I have as good feelings as any man."
Joseph Smith, Jr.
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