Ralph O'Banion

Ralph O’Banion

Ralph Richard O’Banion, 78, was surrounded by his family as he passed from this life on July 23, 2014, after a valiant fight with cancer. Ralph was born on Aug. 20, 1935, to Myrtle Alice Sherwood and Evert Daylong. He was later adopted by Cecil Allen O’Banion. Ralph’s life was marked with pain and trials, yet his family and friends knew him as a happy and kind man who was always more concerned for others than himself.

He married Martha Jane Lindsay on Aug. 17, 1956, in the Idaho Falls Temple of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Together, they raised six children who honor his legacy. He spent his life in service to others. Throughout his life, he influenced many young people as a father, Scout Master, Motorcycle Safety Instructor, Sunday School Teacher, and Summer Help and Welfare Crew Supervisor. Ralph loved old cars, rifles, Native American pictographs and motorcycles. He was a natural teacher, and he loved to share his knowledge and enthusiasm with others.

He flew intelligence missions as an Airman 1st Class in the United States Air Force during the Korean Campaign. He was honorably discharged in 1958, yet the post-traumatic stress he experienced from these years significantly affected him throughout the rest of his life. In recognition and appreciation for his service, he will be buried with full military honors.

He retired from the Yellowstone County Road and Bridge Department in August of 1997. He then worked as a school bus driver and serviceman for the Rimrock Foundation. Most recently, he delivered late luggage to airline passengers throughout Montana, Wyoming and North and South Dakota. He loved seeing the country and talking to people. Each of these jobs gave him the opportunity to help both children and adults, something he was known for throughout his life.

Ralph is preceded in death by his parents and two infant sisters. He is survived by his wife, Martha, whom he cherished; six children, Vickie Gibb (Gordon) of Pleasant Grove, Utah, Joy of Orem, Utah, Craig (Colleen) of Farr West, Utah, Bruce (Michelle) of Billings, Connie Snow (Bill) of Whitewood, S.D., Sarah of Pocatello, Idaho; 10 grandchildren; four step-grandchildren; and eight great-grandchildren.

Funeral services will be at 11 a.m. Saturday, July 26, at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 2929 Belvedere Drive in Billings. Prior to the services, a viewing will be held beginning at 9 a.m. Burial will then take place at Sunset Memorial Gardens in Billings.

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