|Birth: ||Jul. 18, 1916|
North Carolina, USA
|Death: ||Jun. 11, 2002|
Ralph was born July 18, 1916, in the Holly Springs area in northern Iredell County, N.C., to Claude H. Forcum and Mary Ellen Trivette Forcum. His birthplace was only about 10 miles from where his Great, Great, Great Grandfather Thomas Forcum has settled in 1782. One of his many boyhood memories included watching Civil War veterans march in many patriotic parades when he was young. His parents moved to City Point, VA during WWI, and then to Winston-Salem, NC in about 1919, and they finally settled in Lexington, Davidson Co., NC in the mid-1920's. He graduated from high school in Lexington, N.C., in 1933. During the depths of the Depression, Ralph had to forego college and law school and instead traveled to Indianapolis, IN in 1936 to live with his uncle, Jack L. Forcum, a longtime syndicated columnist and feature editor for the Indianapolis Star, in order to seek employment. On July 15, 1939, he married Kathryn Jeanette Deschler, who preceded him in death in 1994 after 54 years of marriage. In 1955, Ralph moved his family to Greenfield, Ind They had three children. He married Doris Autry-Kennedy Oct. 1, 1994.
A Navy veteran of World War II, he served in the Asiatic-Pacific Theater as a Torpedoman's Mate Third Class from 1942 to 1945. In 1941, he was among a select handful of men hired by Lukas-Harold Corp. (LHC) to work on the then-top secret Norden bombsight. Years later he became an official member of The Old Timers Club, reserved exclusively for the men who had been students at the LHC training school in New York City. LHC turned over its operations to the Navy in 1945, and the facility became Naval Ordnance Plant Indianapolis (NOPI), and then became Naval Avionics Facility Indianapolis (NAFI) in 1956, from which Ralph retired as General Foreman and Fire Control Mechanic on 30 June 1972.
Thereafter, he established the Farmers Insurance Group agency in Greenfield, from which he finally really retired in 1980. After eight years of night school, Mr. Forcum received his Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering from Purdue University in Indianapolis in 1956. Active in Boy Scouts for more than two decades, he was a past Scoutmaster of Troop 233 in Greenfield, troop committeeman, district committeeman; and for his outstanding work with youth, he received Scouting's prestigious Silver Beaver Award.. He was also a member of the Hancock Masonic Lodge No. 101. A lifelong churchgoer, he was a member of Wallace Street Presbyterian Church. He passed with God at his side.
In 1904, Mr. Forcum's great-grandfather, Jesse L. Forcum, passed away and in his obituary it was noted that, "His many friends and relatives regret the loss of this good citizen, which is a loss to the community," and the same can be said of Ralph.
Ralph was 85 years young and living in Greenfield, IN when he passed away after an illness of four days on 11 Jun 2002, a Tuesday. Dad was a loving husband and father, and doting grandfather.
Claude Hilton Forcum (1893 - 1956)
Mary Ellen Trivette Forcum (1892 - 1948)
Kathryn Jeannette Deschler Forcum (1919 - 1994)
Mark Rezin Forcum (1950 - 1950)*
Washington Park East Cemetery
Plot: Section O, Lot 576 Grave 3
Maintained by: Jim Forcum
Originally Created by: TASM
Record added: Nov 15, 2012
Find A Grave Memorial# 100762046
Added: Nov. 15, 2012