Ralph Bowersox

| January 18, 2019

Ralph Bowersox, 95, of Clarion, died peacefully at home on Wednesday, January 16, 2019, surrounded by family and his good buddy, Matt Mortimer.

Ralph Richard Bowersox was born in Porter Township on June 22, 1923, to Henry C. and Alba (Cox) Bowersox. He was preceded in death by his wife, Norma Jeanne Lee, his brother, Thomas Bowersox, and his sister, Helen (Edder) Edelen.

Ralph was a goal-driven man with a knack for learning new trades. At age six he was sharpening razors for a barber at a penny apiece. As a young man, he was a farmer, a mechanic, a welder, a school bus driver. In mid-life he became co-owner of Bowersox Bus Service with his sister, Pearl, and developed a rental property business. At the age of 81 he began a new career; writing weekly stories for the local newspapers. His book Ralph’s True Stories was published in 2010. For 14 years he wrote and published over 400 rich and often humorous stories, both historical and contemporary, that were enjoyed by many readers.

Ralph was a modest, unassuming, and self-reliant man. Dependable and honest with a good sense of humor. Finishing school in 11 years, he graduated from Porter Township High School in 1940. He never missed a day of school and was never tardy.

In 1947, Ralph met Norma Jeanne Lee, a schoolteacher he’d had his eye on for a while. Norma was teaching at Porter Township and Ralph was a school bus driver. They met when Ralph rescued Norma in his bus. She was stranded with a flat tire. They were married in 1948.

Ralph preferred to invent and build rather than buying new. Projects in the 1950s included a large swing set, a Ferris wheel geranium planter, a motor scooter, and a riding lawnmower.

Ralph was a master at juggling two careers at a time. When his three kids were little he farmed, drove a school bus, and handled repairs and maintenance for his father’s school bus business. When he got a job as a welder at Chicago Pneumatic Tool Company in Franklin, he gave up farming but kept his morning bus route. His routine for 22 years was: driving the morning bus run, bus repair and maintenance until noon, home for lunch and a quick nap, then driving to Franklin for his night-shift welding job.

Ralph is survived by his children: Karen Hubacher (Jack) of Alexandria, VA and Rock Hall, MD; Jeanne Lee Cepits (Frank “Pete”) of Pittsburgh, PA; Jack Bauersachs (Eva) of Deggendorf, Germany and Boulder, CO; and his sister, Pearl Minich, of New Bethlehem, PA.

Also surviving are three grandchildren: Mike McNally (Lisa), Erin Stratton (Dwayne), Katrina Bauersachs, and a step-grandson Art Hubacher (Michelle); four great-grandchildren: Austin and Lauren Stratton, Nathan and Kevin McNally, and two step-great-grandchildren: Brandon and Bailey Hubacher. Additionally, he is survived by a brother-in-law, Jack F.C. Lee (Dee) and many nieces and nephews.

Ralph was a member of the First Presbyterian Church of Clarion.

Visitation will be at Goble Funeral Home in Clarion on Sunday, January 20, 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. A celebration of Ralph’s life will also be held at Goble’s on Monday, January 21, at 2:00 p.m.

For more information or to send online condolences, please visit www.goblefh.net.


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Category: Obituaries