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Chief Ralph Arthur Painter, Jr
Birth: Jul. 17, 1955
Sacramento County
California, USA
Death: Jan. 5, 2011
Columbia County
Oregon, USA

Chief Ralph Painter was shot and killed after responding to a local car stereo shop in which a man was attempting to take a car that did not belong to him.

When Chief Painter made contact with the man a struggle ensued. The subject was able to disarm him and then fatally shot him.

The man then exchanged shots with responding officers before being wounded and taken into custody.

Chief Painter is survived by his wife and seven children.


It is not how he died that made him a hero, it is how he lived."

The community of Rainier and all of Columbia County mourns the loss of a beloved husband and father, Ralph Painter. Ralph passed away Jan. 5, 2011, leaving behind the love of his life, Amy; his children, Julie (Brian) Heuer, Angie (Danny) Kneeland, Jeremy (Angela) Howell, Jennifer Painter, Ryan (Misty) Painter and Riley Painter; 12 grandchildren; his mother, Kathy Painter; and three siblings, Gloria (Chuck) Elkinton, Alan (Mashelle) Painter and Manual Painter.

Ralph was born July 17, 1955, the day Disneyland opened. He was born to Ralph and Kathy Painter in Sacramento, Calif. The family moved to St. Helens, Ore., in the 1960's where Ralph attended school and subsequently graduated from St. Helens High School in 1974. From there he earned his associate's degree from Clackamas Community College.

Professionally, Ralph's lifelong desire was a career in law enforcement. His career began in 1983 by joining the St. Helens Police Reserves. He then joined the Police Department in the City of Rainier in 1988. Ralph was a patrolman until 1999 when he was promoted to sergeant. His final promotion came in 2006 with his advancement to chief of police. During Ralph's career as a civil servant, he also held a seat on the Rainier City Council. Outside of civics, Ralph was also a skilled carpenter. Throughout his life he built and remodeled many homes.

Ralph loved music, sports and the outdoors. His love for music led him to play the drums in a band and for many years at the Columbia City Four Square Church. In high school he was president of the Letterman's Club and a member of the cross country and track teams, where he was all league and most valuable runner his senior year. He enjoyed baseball and football, cheering for the Yankees and Cowboys. He regularly hunted deer, elk and ducks. His greatest love though was camping with his wife, Amy and youngest son, Riley. Most camping trips grew into get-togethers with family and friends. Ralph loved attending Riley's school and sport functions. He and his family enjoyed special times, making annual trips to Disneyland.

Professionally and personally Ralph always had a positive attitude which he shared with all he came into contact. He was a great inspiration to the entire town, young and old alike.

Visitation will be held from noon to 6 p.m. Thursday at Rainier City Hall. Services will be held at 1 p.m. Friday at the University of Portland Chiles Center and 10 a.m. Saturday at Rainier High School.

In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the Ralph Painter, Rainier Chief of Police Memorial Fund at Bank of America.

Arrangements are by Groulx Family Mortuary.

Family links: 
  Ralph Arthur Painter (1927 - 1999)
  Gloria A Painter Elkinton (1954 - 2012)*
  Ralph Arthur Painter (1955 - 2011)
*Calculated relationship
Hudson Cemetery
Columbia County
Oregon, USA
Created by: James Myers
Record added: Jan 06, 2011
Find A Grave Memorial# 63805185
Chief Ralph Arthur Painter, Jr
Added by: Mike Clark
Chief Ralph Arthur Painter, Jr
Added by: James Myers
Chief Ralph Arthur Painter, Jr
Added by: Jonathon Mauser
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 Added: Jul. 11, 2016

- Kay and Duane Douglass
 Added: Jun. 22, 2016

- George Bacon
 Added: Jan. 5, 2016
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