April 26 1938 — Sept. 5, 2019
Ralph Myron Wirfs passed away Sept. 5, 2019, due to complications from a fall he took several weeks earlier.
Born April 26, 1938 to Margaret Johanna Stenseth and Ray Wilbur Wirfs, Ralph grew up in Newberg, Oregon. At an early age, Ralph developed a passion for reading and science. He graduated from Newberg High School and continued his education at Oregon College of Education (now Western Oregon University), where he received an education degree in English with a minor in science education. He then went on to receive a master’s degree from the University of Oregon.
While in college he married Caryle Jeanne Brisbin. They later divorced.
He later married Karen Kenyon, who preceded him in death. In their 26 years of marriage, they shared a common interest in travel. Mexico, Spain, Peru, Europe, China, Alaska and the continental U.S. were all checked off their bucket list.
During Ralph’s professional career, he taught high school English, became a freelance writer, wrote and published a safety magazine for the State of Oregon and taught English at Clatsop Community College before becoming a property investor and manager.
Ralph loved the outdoors, where he spent countless days photographing, hunting, fishing, picking mushrooms and clam digging. Community service was also very important to Ralph. While simply being willing to help someone or a cause he believed in, he also served on the Clatsop Community College Board of Directors and volunteered as children’s advocate through the Clatsop Court Appointed Special Advocates.
Ralph is survived by his three daughters, Allison Rochelle White, Abigail Wirfs Otillio and Nicole Suzanne Blanton; foster daughter, Debra Clarke; brother, Gregg Wirfs; and sister, Sandra Wirfs. Also surviving are five grandchildren, Alberto Martinez Jr., Melanie Martinez, Kyle Blanton, Christina Martinez and Gemma Heimlich-Bowler; and great-grandchildren, Cassandra and Adrian Ruiz.
A celebration of life will be held on Oct. 19, time and venue to be announced. Ralph requested any charitable contributions to go to Clatsop Community College Foundation or Clatsop CASA Program.