Ralph passed away peacefully at home on Saturday, November 26, 2016, surrounded by his family after a brief battle with cancer. Ralph was a wonderful husband, father, son, friend to many, as well as a veteran of the US Navy.
Ralph Ronald Sylvester, son of Ronald and LaPreal Sylvester, was born on January 4, 1934 in Bingham Canyon, UT. Ralph was a spirited young man that kept his parents on their toes. He once mistakenly pulled the door latch instead of the window crank and fell out of a moving vehicle.
Ralph had an incredible work ethic and a can-do attitude that made him a loyal and cherished employee of the Salt Lake Tribune for over 50 years.
Ralph met the love of his life, Bobbie Sylvester, in Jackson Hole, WY. He won her over with his dancing skills and incredible sense of humor, and they were married on October 25, 1958 in Salt Lake City, UT. Ralph and Bobbie shared a love for adventure and for any and all sports, especially their beloved Utes. Ralph took loving care of his wife and best friend for over 2 years as she courageously battled cancer. Ralph and Bobbie built a strong and loving family that will continue their legacy of love, humor, and generosity.
Ralph was well known for his kindness and his willingness to help someone in need, especially a stranded motorist. His motto was to always leave it better than you found it – and that goes for people, places and things. Ralph’s children often joke that they have good CAR-ma because of all of his kind deeds.
Adventurous by nature, Ralph traveled the world with the love of his life by his side. He was a tour guide for many years, taking large groups to Hawaii and giving travelers the experience of a lifetime. Ralph loved road trips and was famous for taking the scenic route (aka “a Ralph Trip.”) He always opted for a different route where he might see something new and would always say, “I wonder where that road goes?” Through Ralph’s travels, he identified a need in the marketplace and started a very successful business delivering delayed luggage for the airlines. This business employed all of his children and most of their friends for many years.
Ralph was honored to be selected to carry the Olympic Torch for the 2002 Salt Lake City Winter Olympics. He delighted in the experience, as did family and friends who cheered him on at such an incredible moment.
Ralph is survived by his five children; Shauna Finley (Marc), Sandy, UT; Shelly Williams, St. George, UT; Scott Sylvester (Ximena) Park City, UT; Suzie Porter (Jason) Worcester, MA; Stan Sylvester (Tara) Park City, UT; and grandchildren, Kassie, Tyler, Madison, Nicholas, Brooke, Ty, Ashton, Blake; and great granddaughter, Julia. Ralph is also survived by his siblings, Rex Sylvester (Carla), Judy McClure, Jeneen Nelsen, and Barbara Prendergast. Ralph was preceded in death by his loving wife Bobbie, his grandson Ryan, and granddaughter Megan.
A celebration of Ralph’s life will be held at the Bloomington Country Club (3174 South Bloomington Dr. E, St George, UT 84790) on Tuesday, November 29th at 2:00 pm. The family would like to thank all of Ralph’s dear friends who have visited and provided support — your kindness and love mean the world to us.
Ralph was a friend to the animals and loved his sweet dog, Sophie. He spent many hours together walking and playing with Sophie at the dog park and teaching her new tricks. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation on his behalf to Best Friends Animal Society, 5001 Angel Canyon Road, Kanab, UT 84741.