Green Valley, Arizona
July 9, 1951 — Feb. 5, 2016
Ralph Edward Schlappi, 64, of Green Valley, Arizona, succumbed to cancer in his home, surrounded by his family, on Feb. 5, 2016.
Ralph was born July 9, 1951, in Seaside, Oregon, to the late Herb and Jean Schlappi. He attended Seaside High School “69” and married Sherri Leard in 1973, while attending Oregon State University. After graduating from OSU, Ralph joined Campus Crusade for Christ and lived in Flagstaff, Tucson, and San Bernardino before he and Sherri ended up in Gresham, Oregon, to raise their son and daughter.
Ralph taught his kids the joys of outdoor activities, took the family camping every summer, completed several Boy Scout 50-mile hikes with his son, and taught his daughter how to water ski. They were also active church members of Good Shepherd Community Church in Boring, Oregon.
After losing Sherri to a tragic accident in 1993, Ralph leaned on his church family for support. It was at Good Shepherd that he met Rae (Doty), and started a new chapter in his life with their marriage in 1995.
Ralph and Rae were known for their competitive skills in golf, pickleball and card games. They loved to travel and made numerous trips throughout the U.S. and Europe as they entered retirement in 2014.
Throughout his life, Ralph had a knack for running long distance. He was a champion runner in high school and continued for many years to run marathons, qualifying for the Boston Marathon four times, and completing numerous Hood-to-Coast relays. But his final run was shorter than expected. An aggressive melanoma cancer swept right through all medical interventions. Despite his rapid decline in health, Ralph played pickleball one last time two months before passing away.
Ralph is survived by his wife of 20 years, Rae; son, Kyle (Nicole) Schlappi; daughter, Erin (Jeff) Rippee; stepsons, Troy (Erica) Doty and Trevor (Ina) Doty; brother, Wayne Schlappi; sisters, Linda Raitenan and Joanne Bowyer; and eight adoring grandchildren.
Ralph’s memorial will be held on Friday, March 4, at 3:30 p.m., at Good Shepherd Community Church, 28986 S.E. Haley Road, Boring, Oregon. Ralph will be laid to rest at Forest Lawn Cemetery in Gresham, Oregon.