After a short, but well fought battle with stage 4 pancreatic cancer, our Hero has begun his new journey with the Lord. Ralph passed at 11:25pm, May 25, 2019 with his loving wife of 57 years by his side.
Ralph was born July 25, 1939 to Ralph D. and Elizabeth H. (Christian) Cox in Collinsville, Illinois. He married Nancy S. (Spangenberg) Cox, December 22, 1961, she survives. He is also survived by his daughter, Donna (Cox) Percival, five grandchildren, Tyler (Sierra) Percival, Elizabeth Percival, Jennifer (Vercellotti) Percy, Stephanie Vercellotti and Amanda Vercellotti along with two great grandchildren Autumn Percival and Grant Percy.
Upon graduation from Belleville High School, Ralph enlisted into the United States Air Force in 1957. He was stationed at locations in the USA and around the world. During his time of Military Service he rose to the rank of Master Sargent. After twenty one years of service, Ralph retired at Chanute AFB, Illinois. After the Air Force he worked as a computer engineer with the Uof I, Hewlett Packard Instruments and IBM.
Community Service was at the top of his list of priorities. Ralph served as the mayor of Ludlow and at the time of his passing, was serving on the Ludlow Township Board.
Ralph was a 32nd degree Master Mason and is a past Master of the Rantoul and Urbana Lodges.
Ralph was an avid fisherman, HAM radio operator and gun enthusiast. However, his biggest love (besides his wife) was Cardinal baseball. He could talk to you for hours on end about his beloved Cardinals past history and present day.
Ralph will be laid to rest with full Military Honors on Friday, May 31st at 11:00am, at the National Cemetery in Danville, Illinois. A Memorial Service will be held at the American Lutheran Church, 500 Church Dr, Rantoul, Illinois on Saturday, June 1st , Visitation will begin at 9:00am with Memorial Service starting at 10:00am. There will be a luncheon to follow at the church. Donations may be made to the St. Jude's Children's Hospital.
His granddaughter Elizabeth summed up how we all feel with a quote she found “If love could have saved you, you would have lived forever”.
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