WELLSVILLE – Wellsville City offices closed Monday until 2 p.m. for the Ralph Anderson Parker funeral. Parker, 71, a longtime fireman, was laid to rest Monday with family, friends and fellow firefighters from across Cache Valley paying their respects. Parker passed away Tuesday, August 20 from complications of esophageal cancer.
Ladder trucks from Logan and North Logan hung a large American Flag for the procession to pass under. Several firemen in their dress uniforms saluted the flag-draped casket as it passed by.
Hundreds gathered at the Wellsville Cemetery for the internment.
City Manager Scott Wells said Parker was a dependable and talented guy.
“Ralph could do about anything,” Wells said. “He ran the sprinkler and irrigation system for the Wellsville Park.”
Wells said Parker would always look for something that needed to be done and do it. If he found a shovel that needed repairing, or any other piece of equipment, he would fix it.
“He was very well-liked and didn’t want to be in the spotlight,” the city manager said. “He was good at seeing a project in the city that needed to be done and taking care of it.”
Gerald Leishman, the current Wellsville Fire Chief, said Ralph Parker was always one to do the work and didn’t want any recognition.
“He always had fingers in something, and he didn’t want anyone to know what he was doing,” Leishman said. “His family wanted him to ride in the back of the fire truck to the cemetery, he told me he didn’t want to ride in no damn fire truck. I want to ride in a Humvee. His wife and daughters had no idea.”
He said Parker was very humble and quick witted.
“I think he was more religious than people knew,” Leishman said. “Because he we was the first one to step in and help, he was the first one to step away.”
“Parker wasn’t a very public person. He would have a fit if he saw how he was honored today, but it was not near enough what he deserved,” said the current Wellsville Fire Chief.
Parker was a lifelong Wellsville resident and joined the Wellsville fire department in 1981, and for the last 10 years of his career he served as the chief of that department. He also served as an EMT for 26 years.
On March 13, 1970 Ralph married Marcene Leatham in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Logan Temple and they were blessed with four daughters.
Parker, known for his patriotism, service to family, country and to the community of Wellsville often performed quiet acts of service and didn’t want recognition for his deeds.
Ralph served 38 years with honor and distinction as a soldier for the Utah National Guard, ending his career as a Master Sergeant for the 1-145, Field Artillery Unit.
Ralph is survived by his daughters and their spouses, 12 grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.