Ralph P. Smith obituary photo
 
In Memory of

Ralph P. Smith

September 2, 1932 - May 17, 2017

Obituary


Ralph Page Smith was born to James and Emily Smith on September 2, 1932. He was born at home in Vivian Louisiana. He went to school in Vivian and Palestine Texas. Ralph joined the NAVY as a teenager. He met his wife of 61 years, Regena Smith in Vivian. They were introduced by his niece, Rose. They were married on August 14, 1955. They settled in Vivian, La and started a family in 1956 when their first, Chery Jo was born. The second daughter, Bobbie Lou was born in 1957. The third daughter, Karen Lynn...

Ralph Page Smith was born to James and Emily Smith on September 2, 1932. He was born at home in Vivian Louisiana. He went to school in Vivian and Palestine Texas. Ralph joined the NAVY as a teenager. He met his wife of 61 years, Regena Smith in Vivian. They were introduced by his niece, Rose. They were married on August 14, 1955. They settled in Vivian, La and started a family in 1956 when their first, Chery Jo was born. The second daughter, Bobbie Lou was born in 1957. The third daughter, Karen Lynn was born in 1959, followed by one son Jeffrey Page born in 1963 and Phillis Ann in 1964.
Ralph worked as a mechanic, running his own shop for several years in Vivian and then worked for Red River Motor Company, specializing in Corvettes. He loved cars and motorcycles all of his life. He could analyze a car repair problem over the phone. If someone said they were having a problem with their car, his ears perked up and he would be involved very quickly. He absolutely loved to help people.
After working as a rough neck for a while Ralph decide this was not the work for him. He moved his family to Houston Texas in 1965 for better employment opportunities. He joined the Pipefitters Union Local 211 and started working in the refineries. When work slowed down in the early 80's he began traveling to other states through the Pipefitters Union. He traveled with his son in law, David Jones, his good friends Phil Young and Buddy Taylor and his brother in law Lewis Holman. He was injured and disabled on a job in Ohio with his friend Buddy Taylor. He lost Buddy due to this accident. Ralph was never able to work again after this accident. His early retirement gave him so much time to serve others.
Ralph's pride and joy was being a Paw Paw. He spent every day doing something with or for one of his 8 Grandchildren, 10 Great Grandchildren and 2 Great Great-Granchildren. His home always had children in it. He treated all of them, whether they were his or not, like they were his own. His specialty was making each one of them feel special. He and Regena made a lot of money and received settlements from Asbestosis cases but they never kept it. They spent it on their family and friends in need. He was so generous and taught all of his family to be that way and to help each other.
He loved to travel and visit friends and relatives all over the United States. He bought a motor home and he and Regena traveled a lot in it. They even lived in a travel trailer, out on the river for a while, so they could just hook it to the truck and go. When he was in his last days we couldn't keep his feet on the bed, because he was always saying he had to go somewhere. He would move his feet like he was walking.
After he was forced to retire after his injury, he began a food and clothing ministry. He got great joy out of taking things that people gave him, and giving it to people who needed it. They got a sermon and an invite to church with it, and he led a lot of people to Jesus through his ministry. When his body would not let him handle the ministry any more, he began school at age 74 to be a Hospital Chaplain. He was ordained and began working for The Memorial Hospital System. He visited many people who had no one to come see them. He formed a singing ministry and brought music and sermons to the local nursing homes.
Ralph loved to talk to people and tell them stories. He could sit for hours sharing stories. New people who had never heard his stories were his greatest joy. The doctors and nurses at MD Anderson were different each time we came and he had fresh ears for his stories. He loved being in the hospital there and they treated him very well. He always thanked them and the Traditions Health Care nurses and therapists and everyone on the Hospice Staff. He was the best example of a Daddy, PawPaw, Uncle, Husband and Friend. He will be missed.