Ralph Leslie Pearson, Age 75 of Missoula passed away Wednesday evening, February 8th, 2023 in his home after a brief battle with cancer with his wife Norma at his side.
Ralph was born April 17th, 1947 in Aitkin, Minnesota to Lloyd Leslie and Martha Marie Pearson (Berg). As a young man, Ralph grew up on a farm near the small town of Swatara, Minnesota. Ralph spent his youth enjoying many outdoor activities and having adventures in the woods of Northern MInnesota. When he was in high school, the family relocated to Manilla, Iowa. Ralph graduated from Manilla High School and following high school was drafted into the US Army. Ralph served his country as a Sergeant with the 82nd Airborne, and was honorably discharged from the Army in 1974. Although he rarely spoke of it, he was very proud of his military service.
After returning home to Iowa from serving in Vietnam, Ralph married Nancy Saunders. Three children were born to this union, Ryan, Angela, and Christine. In the 1990s Ralph moved to Missoula where he met Norma Terry. They were married in 1994. Ralph and Norma resided in Missoula until his passing.
Throughout his life, Ralph was employed in a variety of areas. He worked as a police officer, a carpenter, an over the road truck driver, a mechanic, and worked for a time in the oil fields in Wyoming. Whatever Ralph was employed to do he gave it his all and became well accomplished in everything. Ralph was able to fix, build, or engineer almost anything.
Ralph enjoyed hunting and fishing throughout his life and especially cherished the outdoor adventures he shared with his family and friends. He could be counted on to tell wonderful stories, and was a friend to everyone. One particular story was how he changed the alternator on his vehicle alongside the interstate in the midst of the Dakotas. He seemed amused that not everyone travels with an extra one and the tools to get the job done on the spot.
Ralph was a loving husband, father, grandfather, brother and uncle. He will be missed greatly by those he leaves behind.
Ralph was preceded in death by his parents, his brother Carlton, father in law Chester “Chet” Shellenberger, brother in law David Swankier, and sister in law Gail Pearson.
Ralph is survived by his wife Norma. His children Ryan (Christina) Pearson of Papillion, Nebraska, Angela Hansen of Sioux Falls, South Dakota, Christy (Matt) Bandy of Urbana, Ohio. Mike (Jessica) Terry of Missoula, Kevin (Leanna)Terry, of Missoula and April (Tyson) Watson, of Missoula, 17 grandchildren, 2 great grandchildren, sister Sonja Swankier of Springdale, Arkansas, brother, Stanley Pearson of Brunswick, Georgia, sister in law Jenelle Pearson of Spring Valley, MN and, many loving nieces, nephews and friends.
No service is planned at this time and a private interment ceremony will be held at a later date.
In lieu of flowers, the family asks that anyone wishing to send condolences, consider donating to the Shriners Organization.