Tommy Joe Ralston, 83, went to be with his Lord and Savior March 23, 2014. He was born December 12, 1930 in Harrisville, WV to the late Frank and Jane Ralston. The family moved to Akron in 1943 where he graduated from South Akron High School.
Tom was loved by everyone who came to know him. He was a friend to all, genuine, trustworthy, kind, compassionate, and an expression of the hands and feet of Jesus. Whatever the situation, he was always ready and willing to help someone out. He loved the Lord Jesus Christ with all his heart, soul, and might and faithfully served as an Elder and a Bible teacher at Grace Church in Rootstown.
He was an ordained minister and was described as a "prince of pastors" by a respected peer. Tom began his career with the Ruhlin Company after serving in the US Army in the Korean War. He started as a laborer and progressed to become a heavy equipment operator and then a Master Mechanic. He retired as Ruhlin's Equipment Superintendent after nearly 40 years of service. Tom was a lifetime member of the Operating Engineers Local 18. After retiring, he supported his sons in establishing the TR Crane and Towing business.
He enjoyed visiting with his family and friends, traveling, camping, and attending his grandchildren's school and sports events. He also loved to repair and tinker with cars and anything mechanical.
Tom leaves behind his beloved wife of 59 years, Vada, and children Tom Ralston (Gina), Melinda LePage (Todd), Tim Ralston (Carol), and Matthew Ralston (Michelle). He also leaves behind his grandchildren Derek Ralston (Erin), Sarah Ralston, Meredith LePage, Eric LePage, Tyler Ralston, Lafond Ralston, Matthew Ralston, Jake Sanor, Zach Sanor, Angie Ashton (Jason), Gust Spilios (Jen), great grandson Wyatt Ashton and brothers Clyde, Ralph Dean, Nev, and Frankie Ralston. He was preceded in death by his sister Mary Lou Wright, brother George Ralston and half brother Allie Wyer.
Special thanks for the kindness of Dr. Ralph Trochelman and staff at the Cooper Cancer Center, and also to the nurses and staff at the Hospice and Hospice Care Center of Akron General.
Calling hours will be from 11 AM to time of service at 1 PM Wednesday, March 26, 2014 at Grace Church, 4808 Tallmadge Road, Rootstown, Ohio with Reverend Ron Regas officiating.
Cremation will take place following the services. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Grace Church, 4808 Tallmadge Rd, Rootstown, OH 44272 or to the Akron General Hospice of VNS, 3358 Ridgewood Road, Akron, OH 44333.
Services have been entrusted to Shorts Spicer Crislip Funeral Home Ravenna Chapel. Condolences and memories may be shared at www.sscfuneralhomes.com.
(Shorts-Spicer-Crislip 330-296-6858, RC 3-24-14)
Dear Ralston Family,
Tom was one of the dearest and sweetest men we grew up with at Grace (New Milford). Regardless of how frequently or infrequently we attended once we grew up and moved away, if he was at church he always greeted us by name - Lee with a handshake and a smile and me with a hug and a smile. When you saw Tom you felt home. He will be dearly missed and while we are far away, wanted to let you know that your are in our thoughts and prayers.
Lee, Abby (Wagner) & Claire Bauman