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Ralph Edward Williams

Sep. 19, 1945 - Feb. 19, 2018

Date of Service: Mar. 3, 2018

BURLEY – Ralph Edward Williams, age 72, of Burley, and a former longtime resident of Malta, died in Mesquite, Nevada, Monday, February 19, 2018.

He was born in Burley, Idaho, September 19, 1945, the only child of Cecil Edward Williams and Constance Ruth Eames Williams. He was raised on the Williams Ranch, two miles north of Malta. Ralph attended Malta Elementary and graduated from Raft River High School in 1963, and subsequently attended Ricks College for one year. Some of his earlier employment that he enjoyed was working on a string-line crew in the area of Jackson Hole, Wyoming. He loved the outdoors. Ralph drove milk truck for his good friend, Denny Whitaker. Ralph was a member of the Idaho Army National Guard for ten years and was proud of being a veteran and was honored to serve his country, if called to.

Ralph married Virginia Rae Galliher on July 6, 1968, and they would have celebrated their 50th anniversary this July. Their children are Mamie Lou Thurston-Steg (Ron) of Lander, Wyoming, Wade Edward Williams (Camille) of Burley, Idaho, and Drew Cecil Williams of Paul, Idaho. Ralph’s grandchildren are Style Thurston, Brett Williams, Lexie Williams, Brody Williams and Breckin Williams. Ralph’s family was the most important part of his life.

He started his career with Belgrade Enterprises, building a 138 KV transmission power line ending in Strevell, Idaho, in September 1968. In December, he went to work for Raft River Rural Electric in Malta. He worked 17 years on the line crew and ten years in the office. He was hired as General Manager of Unity Light & Power in Burley in December 1995. Ralph helped merge Unity Light & Power and Rupert Rural Electric Company into what is now known as United Electric Co-op, Inc. in Heyburn. He continued another 16 years at United Electric before his retirement.

During his co-op days, he met and worked with many good people, both at the co-ops and through associations, along with entities throughout the Northwest. We knew he was a natural leader but he would be the first to disagree. Ralph was a man of his word; integrity was a top priority in his life.

He was an accomplished athlete during his high school days and at Ricks College. At one of Ralph’s college track meets, the team had scored a total of 16 points; 12 of those points were Ralph’s. Ralph enjoyed playing golf with friends; however, he never understood why a little white golf ball could cause so much frustration. He was a member of the Malta Loins Club and the Burley Kiwanis Club.

He enjoyed team roping with many good friends, high school rodeo with his children, and many outings and BBQs with grandchildren and family. Ralph and Virginia have spent the last six winters in Mesquite, Nevada, which they enjoyed a great deal. We will miss him dearly and his unconditional love will forever be with his family.

The funeral will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday, March 3, at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 280 North 1st Street West, in Malta, with Bishop Dallan Spencer conducting. Burial will be in Valley Vu Cemetery.

Friends may call from 6 until 8 p.m. Friday, March 2, at Rasmussen Funeral Home, 1350 E. 16th St., in Burley, and from 10 until 10:45 a.m. Saturday preceding the service at the church.

The family suggests that in memory of Ralph, memorial contributions be directed to the Mini-Cassia Veterans Organization. Checks, made payable to The Mini-Cassia Veterans Organization, may be mailed to Rasmussen Funeral Home, P.O. Box 878, Burley, ID 83318-0878, or given to a funeral director at the service.