Richer for having known him, made poorer by his passing. Family and friends of Ralph Hitchcock are celebrating his life and mourning his departure.
Ralph was born in Salt Lake City, UT on November 4, 1931. During his 87 years he served as a Bishop, a Springville City Council member, a Geneva Recreation Association leader, and in a wide array of civic and church capacities.
He was a successful teacher, chemical engineer, gardener, entrepreneur, and manager.
And .... none of that really mattered to Ralph. What did matter, and what he proclaimed as his singular success was his eternal marriage to his beloved bride, Carol Deon McIntosh Hitchcock, who passed gracefully in January, 2012.
This Idaho farm boy met his California dream girl while students at BYU. “She was in search of someone to make her a mother”, he would say.
Ralph became a giddy, delighted, blessed and forever grateful groom. Then he became a truly exemplary and dedicated husband and father.
Ralph was the eldest of six siblings born to Ricardo (RG) and Muriel. His parents and brother, Kent, have passed. He is survived by his attentive and vivacious sisters; Karlene (Herb) Hardy, Brenda (Lamar) Hoskin, Nelda (Kermit) Morrison, and Margaret (Dono) Peterson.
Ralph and his “True Love” are survived by their six children, Ronald (Sandie) Hitchcock, Denise (Jeff) Alexander, Andrea Hitchcock, Craig (Merry) Hitchcock, Cynthia (Jeff) Carter, and Rachelle (Mike) Miner.
The rest of Ralph’s posterity has multiplied to include over 30 grandchildren, more than 40 great grandchildren, with more still growing from the Hitchcock family tree.
Ralph was so gratified and so proud to watch his flock grow and flourish. Every June he hosted a “Grandad Day” at Lagoon for the whole fandamily, this year exceeding 100 attendees. As the size of the gathering grew, larger pavilions were needed to accommodate his family. The number of requests and challenges grew from great-grandkids who wanted him to accompany them on the attractions. The rides became bigger, faster, higher, scarier and wetter. Ralph accepted every invitation, met every dare, and never stopped smiling.
Ralph’s health finally failed him, but Ralph never failed his family or friends. He endured and led by example to the end. He left us all with smiles and fond remembrances of a gentle man with a huge spirit.
Depending on one’s perspective and relationship, many benefited from Ralph’s attentive nature, love, and compassionate service. He left a unique mark and a lasting impression. His bed may now be empty, but Ralph left full hearts, joyful memories, a legacy of strong hugs, tears of gratitude, side-by-side landmark homes, greener neighborhood yards, happier neighbors, bountiful gardens, his Christmas poinsettias already delivered, and empty shoes no one can fill.
Services will be held on Saturday, December 15, at 1:00 p.m. in the LDS Spring Creek 12th Ward Chapel, 235 East 550 North. Friends and family may pay last respects at Wheeler Mortuary, 211 East 200 South in Springville, from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. on Friday, December 14, and at the church one hour prior to the services on Saturday from 11:30 to 12:30. Afterwards, Ralph will be laid to rest, beside his bride, in the Springville Evergreen Cemetery.