Ralph A. Moran passed away Monday February 23, 2015, at the age of 70 at his ranch. His daughters think he went to visit their Mom at the family cemetery or possibly was checking his cows one last time when he died. Either way, he did it his way, as usual. He was born in Wood, S.D., December 28, 1944.
Prayer Services were held February 26, 2015, in Valentine Neb., at Holmes Funeral Home. The following services were held at Father Paul Hall in Mission, S.D.; Friday, February 27, 2015, Wake; Saturday, February 28, at 1:00, Vice President of the Rosebud Sioux Tribe, Willie Kindle, honored Ralph and presented the family with a Rosebud Sioux Tribe flag. Funeral Services were at 4:00. Ralph was met at his ranch with a horse and wagon team that carried him to his final resting place atop the hill of his Ranch at the Moran family cemetery at sunset.
His parents were Corrinne (Kincaide) and Louis Moran Sr. Ralph went to high school in Wood where he played basketball. This is where he met “Bubbles,” a cheerleader in White River. Ralph married his wife Vernita “Bubbles” Bechtold on October 10, 1961. They were married for 53 years before she died, 6 months before he did.
After high school, Ralph and his buddies were part of a relocation program. He was sent to Dallas in the early 1960s where he went to trade school for auto body repair. He was a successful businessman, owning Ralph’s Body Shop and gas station of about 50 years as well as a prominent Rancher in Todd County. He was a self-made man. He started his ranch with only three cows and four horses, which is minute compared to the empire he has grown.
In 1989, Ralph was elected as Tribal President for one term. He was instrumental in getting the waterline throughout the Rosebud Sioux Tribe. He was a man of few words. He was always thinking ahead, planning for the future. He believed in working hard to get what you wanted in life. He didn’t believe in hand outs, just hard work. He worked from sun up to sundown. He was an entrepreneur from a young age. When he was a young boy he did odd jobs to get enough money to buy a German Sheppard. He wanted to earn money by selling her pups. Ralph was a very serious man. Only his close family knew that his health had been bad for many years but, that didn’t deter him from starting new work adventures. He was the man who took care of everything. He will be missed.
Ralph is survived by his grandchildren and daughters; Roxann (Moran) Wallace of Phoenix, Kim Moran of Sioux Falls, Sandy Moran of Mission and Valerie (Bechtold) Larvie of Mission.
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