George "Ralph" Holmstrom
August 24, 1935 - April 1, 2015
George “Ralph” Holmstrom
George Ralph Holmstrom was born on August 24, 1935 in Laurium, Michigan to parents Henry W. and Effel Irene (Lundberg) Holmstrom. He died on April 1, 2015 of pancreatic cancer. In 1946 the family moved in two vehicles from Royal Oak. In the first car in the front seat were the parents and in the back were sister Pat and brothers Bob, Ralph, and Norm. The second vehicle, a pickup was driven by brother Ron. They settled in Richmond Beach with apple orchards and gravel roads. (Now known as Innis Arden) When high school days came Ralph and his buddies Robert Shortt and Tommy and Dee Tucker caught the bus for Lincoln High School in Seattle where he graduated from in 1953. Shortly after Ralph joined the Navy. After boot camp in San Diego he was in the Pacific. The quelled a riot in Formosa and spent a fair amount of time in Tokyo where he accidently bumped into his brother. Since the ship was going to be there for a while, they asked for volunteers to go to Korea and he did for six months. Then the Navy sent him to Yale University for a year to learn Chinese. Shortly before the end of that year, the war ended and so did his enlistment. So he went back to San Diego to be discharged. He got his driver’s license, picked up his brother’s car and a pretty female passenger and drove to Seattle. He then went to the University of Washington for a year.
Running out of money he then hired on to Boeing. Four weeks later, because he had been a radio tech in the Navy, they sent him to electronic tech school for 18 weeks. He kept that title for 37 years and never once got laid off. Boeing sent Ralph to Colorado, Huntsville, Tucson, and Oklahoma City where a 6 week stint turned into 7 months. Toward the end, for 3 years he spent time in Shemya in the Aleutian Islands. Ralph retired from Boeing on January 1, 1995 to get the early handshake.
In his personal life, Ralph met Mary Caroline Hawkins (aka Carol) at his brother’s wedding and got married on May 7, 1960. They had a son and daughter. Carol got Ralph to join West Seattle Baptist Church where he served as a deacon. He also was a commissioner at Camp Burton and a charter member of the Museum of Flight. He was a member of the Alki Masonic Lodge for 39 years and member of the American Legion in Burien. There were many parties and fun times and they took many trips. In the early days it was to Bothell to see his parents and brother’s family and to Vancouver, BC to pick up Carol’s grandfather who came from Ottawa yearly. Ralph and Carol went to Hawaii and Disneyland many times as well as Disneyworld in Florida. But in 1989Carol was diagnosed with Parkinson’s and after two strokes died on July 1, 1992. Six years later on May 30, 1998 Ralph married Alice May Morgan.
Ralph was greeted in heaven by his wife, Carol holding leases to dogs Pepe, Brindell, and Bo followed by his parents and her parents Wilson and Molly Hawkins. Behind them was his brother Henry Ronald (Jeanne) and their son. Then sister Patricia (aka Ingrid Irene) with her husband Richard Smith and son Michael followed. Ralph is survived by wife Alice M., son Charles Ralph and daughter Catherine Joy Holmstrom all of Seattle. He is also survived by brothers Robert Edward (Jan), Norman Roy (Lynn), many nieces and nephews and finally his cat Bandit.
Visitation for Ralph will be held Tuesday, April 7, 2015 from 11:00am to 1:00pm with the funeral service at 1:00pm all at Bonney-Watson Washington Memorial, 16445 International Blvd., SeaTac, WA 98188.
In lieu of flowers memorials in Ralph’s memory may be made to Franciscan Hospice.