Ralph Leon Spellman 1930-2023

On February 16, 2024, Ralph L. Spellman passed away at Hillcrest Care Center after battling a stroke.

Ralph was born to Eldon Thomas and Lois Bee (Richards) Spellman. He was born at home in Alvin, Colorado ( 18 miles north of Laird, Colorado). Ralph was the third child in a family of eight children. Ralph attended county school and the Wray High School. Ralph worked for his Uncle Dean Thompson and his Uncle Don Thompson on the Thompson Ranch in the summers. He always loved the ranch and enjoyed many trips and great memories there.

Ralph served 2 years in the U.S. Army with 16 months in Korea as a combat engineer. Following discharge, he worked as a civil engineer for the highway department.

Ralph married Sharon Morris in 1962. They had 2 sons, Brickton Wray and Clayton Bower. Together, they enjoyed family gatherings and a shared love of hunting. Sharon passed in 1982.

Ralph was a graduate of NJC in Sterling and The San Francisco College of Mortuary Sciences. Following graduation, he returned to Yuma and worked in the mortuary with his father-in-law, Paul Morris. He later took over the business. His friendliness and caring work ethic helped the business thrive. In 1974, Ralph bought the Wray mortuary. Ralph’s nephew, Jim Schmidt and Dan Baucke helped operate the 2 mortuaries and the monument business until Ralph retired in 1992. Ralph’s “retirement” job was selling promotional products. He enjoyed visiting with all his customers and friends he made along the road.

During his lifetime, Ralph had the honor of being the Mayor of Yuma from 1980-1984. He served on many city boards. He served as Yuma County Coroner for a number of years. He was active and served the Lutheran Church and area veterans as the Veteran Service officer. He was a longtime member of the Rotary Club and maintained perfect attendance for several years.

Ralph married LeAnn Peters in 1983. He was husband, father and Grandpa. He truly enjoyed life.  He loved spending time at the Thompson Ranch with his family and friends. He enjoyed hunting with his brother Tom and special friend, Ray LeRette. Ralph did not know a stranger. He enjoyed visiting with everyone he met.

Ralph is survived by his wife LeAnn, sons Brick (Monica) of Centennial, Colorado and Clay of Loveland, Colorado, grandsons Colter, Heath, and Zane, sisters Minnie Schmidt and Peggy Spellman, sister-in-law Lois Spellman, brother Tom (Margaret) and numerous nieces, nephews, and friends.

Ralph was preceded in death by his parents, E.T. and Lois Bee Spellman, first wife Sharon, sisters Dorothy Schmidt and Jennie Brown, brothers George and Robert Spellman, in-laws Leland and Evelyn Peters.

Funeral services were Wednesday, February 21 at Saint John’s Lutheran Church, Yuma, Colorado. In lieu of flowers, donations will be accepted for memorials in Ralph’s name. Arrangements were made by Baucke Funeral Home.