Ralph Branstetter Obituary

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In Memory of

Ralph P. Branstetter

Obituary

Ralph "Rocket" P. Branstetter passed away at the age of 94 of congestive heart failure on January 27, 2013 at his home surround by his family. Why Rocket? A man with a spirit to soar high, full of energy, a plotted course, a mind filled with electronics and backup systems and never aborted a mission. Ralph was born in Louisiana, Missouri and at the age of five spent one year in Colorado with his mother and grandmother at Cherry Ranch on Happy Canyon Road. Little did Ralph know at the time that he would call Colorado home starting in 1951. Blessed with an imaginative and adventurist mind, Ralph's childhood was anything but ordinary. His...
Ralph "Rocket" P. Branstetter passed away at the age of 94 of congestive heart failure on January 27, 2013 at his home surround by his family.
Why Rocket? A man with a spirit to soar high, full of energy, a plotted course, a mind filled with electronics and backup systems and never aborted a mission.
Ralph was born in Louisiana, Missouri and at the age of five spent one year in Colorado with his mother and grandmother at Cherry Ranch on Happy Canyon Road. Little did Ralph know at the time that he would call Colorado home starting in 1951.
Blessed with an imaginative and adventurist mind, Ralph's childhood was anything but ordinary. His first pop and candy stand was built from the console of a pipe organ from a nearby church that had burned. He also managed to bring all of the pipes, bellows, and keyboards home, via numerous trips with his wagon. This is where his passion for pipe organs and organ music was born. At the age of nine, Ralph got a regular Saturday job paying a whopping twenty five cents per eight hour day. A few years later he was earning $20.00 per week servicing juke boxes and pinball machines.
Ralph grew up across the street from cute little girl named Nedra June Adams in Bowling Green, Missouri. They spent many days together as kids and in 1943 Ralph married "June" his childhood sweetheart. Ralph and June were married for 55 years until June's death in 1998. Ralph leaves behind a loving legacy of being a husband, father, grandfather, and great grandfather to 31 heirs.
Stationed in Italy, Ralph served as an engineer with the 454th Bomb Group during World War II, and kept B-24 "Liberators" flying for their bombing missions. Years later Ralph was to spearhead an effort to reunite the former members of his unit. He, with the help of others, located 400 former members and at a weak moment agreed to plan and host a reunion in Colorado Springs in 1984. Over 600 people attended the evening banquet. His volunteerism in the Bomb Group continued another 23 years. He served as the editor of the newsletter, prepared the annual directory, and was a Director or Officer of the board for most of those years.
An Electrical Engineer (P.E.), Ralph spent most of his career working for the Bureau of Reclamation in the Power and Maintenance Division. Ralph's family vacations always included viewing transmission lines, substations, hydroelectric plants, penstocks, and dams.
Although Ralph was not a trend setter, he deserves a plaque in the "share a ride" hall of fame (if there is one) and probably should be in the Guiness Book of World Records for his participation in a carpool with four of his friends, that lasted a quarter of a century. He and his car pool buddies racked up enough miles on their daily commute from Wheat Ridge to the Federal Center over the years to encircle the globe several times!
When Ralph moved to Wheat Ridge with his young family, he joined the Wheat Ridge Methodist Church. Once again, his commitment to serve and his spirit of volunteerism led him to spend the rest of his life completing projects, big and small, for the facility.
Throughout his life, Ralph never missed the opportunity to kid around, laugh, joke, and relied on his quick sense of humor to invoke a smile to those around him. He will be missed and will always be a "Rocket" to those who had an opportunity to know him.
In lieu of flowers, gifts may be made to the Wheat Ridge United Methodist Church in the memory of Ralph Branstetter.
Wheat Ridge UMC
7530 W. 38th Ave.
Wheat Ridge, CO 80033

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Ralph "Rocket" P. Branstetter passed away at the age of 94 of congestive heart failure on January 27, 2013 at his home surround by his family. Why...

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