Ralph Laverne Oswald, 95, of Luray, Kansas, passed away Saturday, March 21, 2020 at the Health Care Resort in Wichita, Kansas.
Ralph was born September 19, 1924 in Luray, Kansas and was the son of John F. “Frank” and Luella Tressie (Markley) Oswald He grew up in Luray and graduated from Luray High School in 1942.
Ralph was united in marriage to Myrtle “Myrt” Marie Cline of Bunker Hill on February 16, 1947 in Salina, Kansas. The union was blessed with four children; John, Cheryl, Roger and Janis. They made their home in Luray until moving to Russell in 2016 due to declining health.
In August 1943 Ralph enlisted in the United States Marine Corps undergoing basic training in San Diego then was stationed at MCAS Mojave. In September 1944 he arrived in Pearl Harbor and was stationed with the VMF-213 squadron at the Marine Corps Air Station Ewa on Oahu, Hawaii which served as the hub for all Marine aviation units heading into combat in the Pacific Theater. He received the Asiatic-Pacific medal, American Area medal and the World War II Victory medal. In February 1951 he re-enlisted during the Korean Conflict and was stationed at El Toro MCAS in Santa Ana, California. He was discharged in February 1952 as a staff sergeant.
Ralph was a devoted husband and provided for their family initially working for Merl Markley Motors of Luray and in 1958 was appointed Postmaster of the Luray Post Office until his retirement in 1989.
He was a member of the Luray United Methodist Church and enjoyed square dancing, gardening and stamp collecting. He was a charter member of the Luray Lions Club, a member of the Luray Legion and a lifetime member of the Russell VFW. For more than 28 years Ralph and Myrtle enjoyed RV living as “snowbirds” in Texas and Yuma, Arizona.
Ralph’s surviving family are daughters Cheryl Gibson of Pittsburg, Kansas and Janis Kelley of Frontenac, Kansas; sons, John Oswald (Judith) and Roger Oswald (Sue) all of Wichita, Kansas; eight grandchildren, Nathan Moore (Anita), Jordan Moore (Gary), Joshua Barr (Kristin), Jared Barr (Natalie), Jordan Barr (Elba), Morgan Douglas (Allan), Alicia Simon (Michael) and Grant Kelley; and 11 great grandchildren.
Ralph was preceded in death by his wife Myrtle, parents, brother William Oswald of California and son-in-law Neil Gibson. A private family graveside service will be held immediately. A memorial service to celebrate Ralph’s life will be held at a later date. A memorial has been established with the Luray Senior Center or the Luray United Methodist Church. Contributions and condolences may be sent to the Luray United Methodist Church at P.O. Box 37 * Luray, Kansas 67649. Pohlman-Varner-Peeler Mortuary of Russell, Kansas, is in charge of the funeral service arrangements.