Ralph W. Anderson, 89, of North Platte, passed away peacefully at home on May 28, 2019. He was born on Oct. 10, 1929, in Scottsbluff, to Andrew W. and Marie M. (Oberlander) Anderson.
As a small boy, he moved with the family to Wyoming. He graduated from Cheyenne High School in May 1947. He promptly entered the United States Air Force. After several tech schools, he did a tour in Alaska as a crew chief on a C-47. He loved both the country and the plane.
While on leave, visiting his parents, who had just recently moved to North Platte, he met the young lady who would become the love of his life, Mary Jane Forrester. Upon his honorable discharge in June 1950, he returned to North Platte.
They married Feb. 16, 1951, while she was still a senior in high school. To this union, three children were born, Michael, Susan and Mitchell. Together, he and Mary built a new home in 1965, in which they lived until their passing.
Ralph was a longtime member of First Baptist Church in North Platte and spoke fondly of helping lay brick for the original church building. Ralph was also a member of American Legion, NRA and EAA. He hired on at the Union Pacific Railroad in July 1950 as a clerk, retiring in May 1988, after 38 years. After retirement he enjoyed evening motorcycle rides with a neighbor, gardening and fixing things.
He was renowned for his ability to fix almost anything and he was an accomplished carpenter and wood worker. When friends or neighbors had a need, Ralph was always there to help with whatever was needed.
He was preceded in death by his parents; wife, Mary Jane on Jan. 2, 2017; sister and brother-in-law, Kit and Harry Morgan; sister-in-law, Joeann Ten Bensel; and brother-in-law, Rex Forrester Sr.
He is survived by three children, Michael (Laurie) Anderson of Toivola, Minnesota, Susan (Steve) Schmit of North Platte and Mitchell (Kelly) Anderson of Spokane, Washington; brothers-in-law, Tom (Barb) Forrester of McAllen, Texas, Robert Forrester of North Platte and Paul Ten Bensel of Cambridge; sisters-in-law, Peggy Ward of Des Moines, Iowa, and Phyllis (Larry) Ransdell of Omaha; nine grandchildren; 11 great-grandchildren; six great-great grandchildren; and numerous nieces and nephews.
Online condolences may be shared at carpentermemorial.com.
Visitation will be from 1 to 7 p.m., with family receiving friends from 5 to 7 p.m., Monday, June 3, at Carpenter Memorial Chapel. Cremation will follow visitation. Services will be at 11 a.m. Wednesday, June 5, at Carpenter Memorial Chapel with Pastor Dave Logsdon officiating. Inurnment will be at Floral Lawns Memorial Gardens.
Carpenter Memorial Chapel is in charge of arrangements.