Ralph was born on 9Jul1897 in Stillman Valley, Illinois. His parents were Ike and Mary (Benner) Winterland. At the age of 17, he began working for the Illinois Central Railroad as a fireman. In 1921 he was promoted to engineer and married Florence Kirk on 27Jul1921 in Rockford, Illinois. The couple were known to friends as Pete and Flossie. Ralph retired from the railraod in 1958 due to ill health and died on 20Jun1964. He was a member of Excelsior Lodge AF & AM and the Brotherhood of Locomotive Firemen and Engineers. The couple had no children.