Ralph Dale Upshaw


Ralph Dale Upshaw (86), of Downey Idaho, quietly passed through the veil on Wednesday, July 29, 2020 in Orofino Idaho, surrounded by his family, from complications related to heart failure.

He was born May 7, 1934, in Blackburn Oklahoma to Fred Upshaw and Ruby Viola Upshaw. He and his 8 siblings loved to swim, fish, hunt, and play tricks on each other.

Ralph graduated from Highschool in Blackburn, OK and went to work on several farms around Kansas and then moved to Colorado. He joined the Army April 24, 1957 and served 2 years before being honorably discharged.

He met the love of his life, Norah Idella Jones, in Colorado and they married October 15, 1959, in Pierre, SD, and were sealed for time and all eternity in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints Salt Lake City Temple, August 20, 1968.

Ralph worked as a Manitowoc Master Mechanic for Hennessey Forrestal for 25 years before working for Massman Construction, as their mechanic, until he retired in 1997. He’s been a proud union member of IUOE Local 513 for just shy of 58 years and took pride in the fact that he was only one of a few people who could repair a machine that could move 220 tons.

Ralph and Idella moved from Pierre, to Rapid City, SD where their daughter, Joyce Jolene was born. Then they moved to Risco Missouri, and then to Wilson Kansas, where son Ralph Dwaine was born. Work sent their family to St. Charles Missouri and then finally, to House Springs Missouri where their last child, Ernest Dale was born.

While still in St. Charles, Ralph and Idella decided the kids were old enough to go to church and that it would be fine to send them to the Mormon church that his older siblings went to. If they could find one near them. A few days later, Idella was washing the floor when there came a knock on the door. You guessed it; the Mormon missionaries had found them. The entire family joined the church a few months later.

Ralph was an active member of the church and held many positions including, Branch President, Bishop, and High Councilman, and enjoyed all his callings until his health declined in July of 2020

Ralph and Idella moved from Missouri to Downey, Idaho in 2006 to be closer to their kids, grandkids, and great grandkids.

Ralph loved to fish and drive around the country in his RV, and garden. Growing up, he recalled how his family had a huge garden every year and they would preserve almost everything they grew. He noted that as a child he didn’t like having to work in the garden, but later in life, he changed his mind. He would spend hours outside nurturing the plants he grew and would preserve his harvest every fall. He enjoyed visiting his children and took even more joy in his grandkids and great grandkids, and each one can vouch for how much fun they had when grandpa would haul out the green wagon and pull them behind his lawnmower.

He is survived by his wife, Idella, daughter, Joyce Jolene Young, son, Ralph Dwaine Upshaw (Robyn) and son Ernest Dale Upshaw (Brooke), 10 grandchildren and 16 great grandchildren.

He is preceded in death by his parents and siblings.

A viewing will be held from 10:00 a.m.-10:45 a.m., Wednesday, August 5, 2020 at the LDS church located at 310 E. Center St, Downey Idaho. Following that there will be a funeral service at 11 am. in the Chapel, we will have a graveside service following at the Downey Cemetery, 452 E. Grant Rd. Downey, Idaho.

Any inquiries, please contact Horsley Funeral Home at 208-766-4330

The family would like to thank Elite Home Health and Hospice for the loving care they showed to Ralph and his family during his transition from this earthly life to his eternal rest. And to the members of his ward and the community of Downey Idaho, thank you for the friendship and support you’ve given to Ralph and Idella over the years.

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