Ralph Leon Marsh, beloved father and grandfather, age 84, passed away in the early morning hours of May 26, 2023, in Eagle Rock, CA.
Born on July 18, 1938, in Ft. Collins, CO, to James Gordon and Etta Marie Marsh (nee Wich), Ralph moved at the age of 12 to Los Alamos, NM, when Gordon was hired at the Los Alamos Scientific Laboratory (now Los Alamos National Laboratory).
Ralph was active in Boy Scouts and excelled at marksmanship, the Sousaphone and ROTC. He graduated from Los Alamos High School with the Class of 1956. He earned a marching band scholarship to New Mexico State University in Las Cruces, NM and later attended University of New Mexico in Albuquerque where he studied architecture. He eventually earned a BS in Business Administration from the College of Santa Fe. Ralph served in the U.S. Army Special Forces Airborne from 1960-66 in a Reserve capacity.
Ralph worked as a draftsman in Albuquerque and Santa Fe. He also designed and constructed a home on Barranca Mesa in Los Alamos for his parents and a home for his wife and daughters outside Santa Fe. In 1974, Ralph returned to Los Alamos with his young family to work for the Los Alamos Scientific Laboratory as a draftsman and technician until his retirement in the 1990’s. He was active in the Los Alamos International Folk Dancing community for many years, and enjoyed hiking, skiing, hang gliding, flying and foreign travel.
After retirement from LANL, Ralph lived in Los Alamos for a few years, then moved to Puyallup, WA, and eventually to Hansville, WA, on the Kitsap Peninsula where he enjoyed quiet, natural beauty with views of the Olympic Peninsula and Puget Sound. He became an active member of the Skandia Folkdance Society and danced frequently in Poulsbo, WA, and throughout the Greater Seattle area. Ralph also offered his engineering services to local trail restoration with the Hansville Greenway Project. In later years, he moved to Los Angeles, CA, to be closer to his daughters and grandchildren after a series of strokes made communication and daily life more challenging.
Ralph was an engineer, draftsman, builder, designer, recreational pilot & light aircraft enthusiast, paratrooper, sea kayaker, lover of Classical music and an avid Scandinavian folk dancer. He had a lifelong interest in aircraft, and in 2010, achieved his goal of building a light aircraft when he completed his Arion Lightning.
Ralph is survived by daughters Julie M. Marsh of Seal Beach, CA, and Holly J. Marsh Riley, of Glendale, CA; sons-in-law Alan D. Hysinger and Steven Ford Riley; grandchildren Fiona M. Riley, Quinn P. Riley, and Emily L. Hysinger; and ex-wives Anna E. Caspersen of Los Alamos, NM, and Dr. Eileen Elliot of Puyallup, WA. He is preceded in death by his parents and brothers, Kenneth M. Marsh and Thomas E. Marsh.
Funeral services for Ralph L. Marsh will be at 11 AM on Thursday, August 3, 2023, at Conejo Mountain Funeral Home, 2052 Howard Rd., Camarillo, CA, where he will be interred near his parents and brothers. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in Ralph’s name to the National Aphasia Association at aphasia.org, or to the Greater Peninsula Conservancy in support of the Hansville Greenway Project at GreatPeninsula.org.