Ralph Ware Nelson, 90, Coeur d’Alene, died Wednesday, Dec. 29, 2004, at Four Seasons Assisted Living. Born Aug. 7, 1914, at Ross Point (Coeur d’Alene), to Ralph S. and Janette H. (Ware) Nelson, Ralph lived in the Coeur d’Alene area all his life. After high school, he attended Stanford University and graduated from University of Idaho. He then graduated from Gonzaga Law School and served with the Navy during World War II. After the war, Ralph worked for the Idaho Compensation Co., later Liberty National Insurance Co., where he was executive vice president. The last 20 years of his career, he was with Argonautt Insurance Co. Ralph was married to Helen “Parm” Parmley on Sept. 1, 1938, and recently celebrated their 66th wedding anniversary. Ralph was active in the community as a Rotarian, Boy Scout leader, Sunday school teacher, Elks Band member, and sports enthusiast. He was an elder and member of First Presbyterian Church. A 63-year member of Rotary, he served as past president. Ralph was a member of the Hayden Lake Country Club for 75 years and was the club champion in 1935. He was also past chairman of the local chapter of American Red Cross and was chairman of Coeur d’Alene Library Board for 20 years. Besides being a golf nut, Ralph lettered in basketball at Coeur d’Alene High School and in tennis at University of Idaho. He enjoyed all sports and attended hundreds of high school and college football and basketball games, traveling with Parm to at least a dozen Idaho high school state basketball tournaments. Active in the Kootenai County Saddle Club, Ralph started raising Arabian horses in the 1950s, and organized the Inland Empire Arabian Horse Association. Ralph was a musician from an early age and played with the Elks Dance Band for about 40 years. He also joined the Perfectionots each July Fourth to march in the parade. Ralph is survived by his wife, Parm; sons Ralph Nelson Jr., Hayden, and Doug Nelson, Walla Walla, Wash; daughters Susan Kluksdal, Boise, Carolyn Antognoli, Lincolnshire, Ill., and Jean AhFong, Boise; sister Jean W. Nelson, Menlo Park, Calif.; brother Spencer Nelson, San Diego; nine grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his son, Parmley D. Nelson, in 1996. Memorial service will be 1 p.m. Jan. 4. at First Presbyterian Church in Coeur d’Alene. Yates Funeral Home is in care of the arrangements. The family prefers memorials to the Coeur d’Alene Library Foundation, 201 Harrison Ave., Coeur d’Alene, ID 83814. You may visit Ralph’s memorial and sign his online guestbook at www.yatesfuneralhomes.com.
Source: Coeur d’Alene Press, The (ID) – Saturday, January 1, 2005