Havre Daily News - News you can use

Obituary - Ralph W. Anderson


October 30, 2017

Courtesy photo

Ralph Anderson

Ralph Walter Anderson, 90, died Friday, Oct. 27, 2017, of natural causes at Northern Montana Care Center.

A celebration of life will be held 2 to 4 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 4, 2017, at the Havre Eagles Club. Everyone is invited to attend. Burial of his ashes will be at a later date with immediate family.

Ralph was born Aug. 16, 1927, in Dodson, Montana, the oldest of five children to Ralph J. Anderson and Abbie W. (Walker) Anderson. He attended school north of Chinook and in Chinook before the family moved to the farm east of Havre in 1941. Son Bob was born during Ralph's short marriage to Dorothy Smith of Kremlin, Montana.

Drafted into the U.S. Army during the Korean Conflict he spent his time in service at Fort Benning, Georgia. He met his wife of 57 years, Wilma, in nearby Columbus where he spent his free time working at a Triumph Motorcycle dealership and racing motorcycles. After growing up on a dairy farm, he called his time in the Army his two-year vacation.

He and Wilma returned to Montana so that Ralph could operate the family farm while his dad focused on operating what would become Vita Rich Dairy. Bob, the start of the new family, was followed by Sharon, Ellen and finally John, when Wilma said "No more!"

While running the farm, Ralph drove truck for Vita Rich hauling milk in a tanker from Ronan back to the plant in Havre. About the time the last of their children left home, they sold the farm, keeping 80 acres next door where Ralph found true happiness running a gravel pit and salvage yard. He became The Junkman.

Work was Ralph's hobby but he also worked hard at playing on horses and motorcycles. He had many horses, and dogs, over the years that he loved and bragged about till the end. All of his kids grew up attending O-Mok-Sees around the region. He was a hard-working volunteer at any event he attended. He rode motorcycle into his 80s, taking his last rides at 85, after which John was barely able to wrestle the keys away.

Ralph was the person you wanted to happen by when you had troubles. He never left a motorist stranded or a friend in need. He thrived on the dirty jobs and swung a mean hammer. He enjoyed sharing his knowledge, including teaching all of his kids and many of their friends how to drive an 18-wheeler. Give him a hammer, welder and cutting torch, and a pile of scrap iron became a useful tool like his famous junk truck.

Ralph is preceded in death by his parents, Ralph and Abbie; wife Wilma (Roper) Anderson; daughter Ellen McMahan; son-in-law Wayne Nold; brother Harvey; and sister Vera.

Ralph is survived by brother, Lee (Evelyn) Anderson, Havre; sister, Alva Stewart, Titusville, Florida; son, Bob (Kathy) Anderson, Billings, Montana; daughter, Sharon Nold, Havre; son, John (Pam Burke) Anderson, Havre; son-in-law, Steve McMahan, Havre; grandchildren, Pam (Terry) Majerus, Sandy (Randy) Brown and Christy (Charles) Kolczak, all of Havre; great-grandchildren, Zane Anderson, Sonya McMahan and Sage Brown; great-great-grandson, James McMahan; his nieces and nephews; and many great friends.


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