Ralph E. Gunner, 83, of Bluffton, passed away Wednesday morning, December 11, 2013, at 3:00 A.M. at his residence.
Born on April 1, 1930, in Cleveland, OH, to Marvin E. and Blanche E. (Gifford) Gunner, Ralph married Sarah L. Salmon in Great Falls, MT, on April 5, 1952; she survives.
A 1948 graduate of Hubbard High School, Ralph attended Kent State University for three years, where he was a member of the football team. He then served as a navigator for the United States Air Force from 1951 to 1955 during the Korean War, where he was the recipient of numerous awards, including the Distinguished Flying Cross award.
Ralph was a member of the Bluffton First Church of Christ, Veterans of Foreign Wars, and American Legion Post 280 of Greenwich, OH. He retired as an air traffic controller in 1988. Ralph was a Godly man and faithfully served in church leadership roles.
Additional survivors include two daughters; Patricia Jane (Joseph) Becker of West Mansfield, OH, and Susan Elizabeth (Dennis) Wood of Bluffton, IN; five grandchildren; seven great-grandchildren; three brothers, Allen E. (Grace) Gunner of Williamsburg, VA, Donald E. (Janet) Gunner of Palmdale, CA, and Roger E. (Tracey) Gunner of Union City, PA; and one sister, Winnifred E. (Richard) Herhold of Erie, PA.
Aside from his parents, Ralph was preceded in death by one daughter, Deborah Ann Gunner and a grandson.
Visitation will be Friday, December 13, 2013, from 3:00 until 8:00 P.M. at Goodwin - Cale & Harnish Memorial Chapel in Bluffton.
Services will be held Saturday, December 14, at 11:00 A.M. at First Church of Christ in Bluffton, with one hour of visitation prior to the service at the church. Officiating the funeral service will be Jack Sumption, along with Larry Sprinkle and Joseph Becker. Burial will be held at a later date at Edwards Grove Cemetery in Greenwich, OH, with military graveside rites performed by the United States Air Force Honor Guard.
Memorial contributions may be given to the First Church of Christ.
Online condolences can be made at www.thegmcfamily.com.