Ralph Edward Waterman Jr. passed away peacefully on February 19, 2018 at Woodside Village in Grand Forks.
He was born in Pawtucket Rhode Island on May 31, 1927 to Ralph E. Waterman Sr. and Hope Applebee Monroe Waterman. He attended Newman Ave. Grade school and missed most of the first grade due to illness, so he repeated it at the request of his mother. Ralph joined the class of his younger brother Russel the following year, and they attended 14 years of school together. Ralph and Russel attended North Kingstown High School and graduated in 1946. After High School Ralph got a job working for Coca-cola. Russel loaded cases of Coke onto trucks, and Ralph made the deliveries. One day while delivering Coke to the Air Force base, Ralph backed his truck into a parked military plane, doing several thousand dollars worth of damage. Coca-cola paid for the damage, and informed Ralph that they no longer needed his services. The next time Ralph was allowed near an Air Force plane, it was in preparation to fly it. Ralph and Russel joined the Army in 1946. In 1949 he took an Air Force physical. During the Korean War Ralph was called to infantry combat, but by this time had already made a commitment to the Air Force. With the help of Rhode Island Congressman John Fogarty, he received a Congressional Hold, transferring him to the Air Force, where his great skills as a pilot, made him much more valuable in the air than he would have ever been with on the ground. During the war he flew 75 combat missions in his P-51 Mustang. After 24 years of service, Ralph retired from the Air Force, and moved his family to North Dakota, where he received an education degree from UND. He loved teaching at Washington Elementary School in Grand Forks, and later in St. Louis Missouri. After leaving teaching, he sold real estate in St. Louis, before returning to Grand Forks in 2014.
Ralph was preceded in death by his infant daughter Karen, his second wife Shirley, and his first wife Jean. He is survived by his brother Russel (Betty) of Orlando, FL; his sons Mark Waterman of New York, NY; David (Jeanne) Waterman of Grand Forks, ND; Christopher (Vicki) Waterman of Nobelsville IN; his step-son Rob (Tara) Beiswenger of Chester, WV and 8 grandchildren. He will be missed by them all.
Memorial Service: 2:00 PM on Friday, March 9, 2018 at Woodside Village Chapel, 4006 24th Ave. S., Grand Forks, ND.
Visitation: Noon to 2:00 PM on Friday, March 9, 2018 at Woodside Village Chapel
Interment: Arlington National Cemetery later this year.
Online Guestbook: www.dandahlfuneralhome.com