|Birth: ||Oct. 23, 1938|
|Death: ||Jan. 17, 2008|
Oakley C. Ralph, a Dodge City police chief for 25 years, passed away Thursday morning after suffering a heart attack at his home on Burr Parkway.
At 9:40 a.m. Thursday, Ford County Fire and EMS arrived at Ralph's home after they received a call saying he wasn't breathing. He was taken to Western Plains Medical Complex, where he later died.
Ralph was born on Oct. 23, 1938, at Wichita, the son of Donald Clinton and Mildred Elizabeth (Gill) Ralph.
Oakley was a graduate of Derby High School. After high school, he was a collector for the Gas Service Company and was a volunteer with the Sedgwick County Sheriff's Department. Oakley moved to Dodge City in June of 1964 and went to work for the Dodge City Police Department, working the night shift and farming during the day. He was appointed Chief of Police in April of 1971 and served as chief until retiring in 1996. Oakley graduated from the F.B.I. National Academy in 1973.
After retiring, he was a volunteer in mission, where he traveled to Alaska, South Dakota, Washington, Texas, Arizona and Kansas. He liked to hunt, fish, snow ski and always looked forward to his mission trips. Oakley also loved spending time with his grandchildren, and he cheered them on in their activities.
He was a member of the First United Methodist Church and Keystone Sunday School Class of Dodge City, Kansas Association of Chiefs of Police, where he served as president in 1986 and was the State Association Chiefs of Police Delegate. Oakley was also a member of the International Association of Chiefs of Police.
On Oct, 27, 1957, he married Pat McAllister at Wichita. She survives. Other survivors include two sons, Brad Ralph and wife, Shannon, Dodge City, and Brian Ralph and wife, Jackie, Hays; six grandchildren, Brianna, Michael, Katelynn, Jennifer, Kelli and Alexis; two sisters, Gertrude Sexton and husband, Kenneth, and Dona Reed and husband, Wayne, both of Derby; several nieces and nephews.
Memorial service will be held at the First United Methodist Church, Dodge City at 11 a.m. Monday, Jan. 21, 2008, with Rev. Lance Carrithers presiding. Burial will follow at Maple Grove Cemetery in Dodge City. There will be no public visitation, cremation has taken place.
In lieu of flowers, memorials can be made to the First United Methodist Church for Volunteers in Mission or Camp Lakeside, both in care of the funeral home. Personal condolences may be left at www.swaimfuneralhome.com.
Ralph moved to Dodge City in June 1964 and went to work for the Dodge City Police Department on the night shift while farming during the day.
He was appointed chief of police in 1971 and remained in that position until his retirement in 1996. In retirement, Ralph was heavily involved in mission work in Alaska, South Dakota, Washington, Texas, Arizona and Kansas.
Police Chief John Ball, who began working with Ralph when Ball joined the force in 1981, said Ralph's 32 years of service were a testament to his dedication to the community.
"That's certainly worthy of our respect," Ball said. "He should be honored for what it was. He will certainly be missed."
Dodge City Commissioner Jim Sherer, who had known Ralph for close to 40 years, said Dodge City lost one of its best residents with the death of the former police chief.
"The community has lost a great man," he said. "He was a man of integrity, both as an officer and as a police chief."
Sherer said he would always remember Ralph for his commitment to Dodge City as a whole in his professional capacity as well as his personal life.
"He was just an all-around wonderful man," Sherer said. "He will be terribly missed."
A memorial service is planned for 11 a.m. Monday at the First United Methodist Church in Dodge City.
Donald C. Ralph (1904 - 1975)
Mildred Elizabeth Gill Ralph (1908 - 2000)
Maple Grove Cemetery
Maintained by: Judith Bailey
Originally Created by: Allen Bailey: Dodge City...
Record added: Jan 19, 2008
Find A Grave Memorial# 24047302