Ralph was a long time resident of St. Helena and passed away on April 26, 2014, at the age of 79. He was the son of George Deuer and Nancy Raymond Deuer who were also longtime residents of the Napa Valley. Ralph attended St. Helena High School and graduated in 1954. After high school, he joined the Army and served in Korea for two years. Upon returning from the service he learned auto body and mechanical repair of automobiles at Bryon's Auto Body shop in Napa, which led to a long-term hobby of automobile buying, repair and trading. He also worked for Wyer Associates in Sonoma doing land surveys and subdivision design. Ralph was also a very astute and knowledgeable investor who did very well buying and selling land, real estate, stocks and bonds.
He was an active member of the Napa County Grange and numerous winemaking clubs, auto clubs and other local organizations. He learned many of his wine-making skills from his father, George, who was the lead wine chemist at the Inglenook winery. He enjoyed going to auto swap meets throughout Northern California, where he traded, bought and sold parts for vintage automobiles. What he enjoyed most was the solitude and natural surroundings he had on his small ranch north of St. Helena.
Ralph never married and had no immediate relatives other than his sister, Laurie, who passed away in 2004. Even though he was an ardent businessman, he believed in giving back to society. Working with Miel Price Novak of Coombs & Dunlap, they developed a philanthropic program such that his estate would be divided among several worthy organizations in the valley and Northern California.
He is survived by many friends including his neighbors, Dave and Helen Epps, who helped him through many difficult health problems; his lifelong friends, Russ Wyer and Tammy and Oscar Sanderson; and many other Napa Valley residents.