Cover photo for Ralph W. Gilmore's Obituary
Ralph W. Gilmore Profile Photo
1922 Ralph 2024

Ralph W. Gilmore

April 2, 1922 — April 16, 2024


Ralph W. Gilmore, age 102, a devoted husband, father, grandfather and great-grandfather whose love for faith, family and community defined his life, passed away on April 16th, 2024, while surrounded by family.  He left behind a legacy of hard work, generosity, and unwavering love for his heavenly Father.

Ralph was born at home on April 2, 1922.  His parents were Glenn and Elsie Gilmore and he was raised with his sister, Mary Esther, on a farm in Ohio Grove township near Aledo, IL. 

After graduating high school, he attended Sterling College in Sterling, KS as well as Iowa State University.  He graduated from Iowa State with a degree in Agriculture in 1945.

During his time at Sterling, he met his late wife, Merna. They married on September 5th, 1945, and together they had three daughters: Marcia Sparks (Jim), Glennys Doane (Gary) and Linda Tank (Lee).  Between them, ten grandchildren were born: Nathan, Oliver, Benjamin, Katie, Ian, Amy, Vic, Edie, David, and Sarah. And great-grandchildren Brady, Leah, Faith, Mason, Will, Grant, Audrey, Levi, Asher, Vivian, Owen, Brooklynn and Emily

 Ralph and Merna were members of and very active at Sunbeam Presbyterian Church, located just outside of Aledo.

On the farm, Ralph and Merna enjoyed time with their pet collies, growing crops in their fields using their John Deere equipment and running their hog operation.  They also raised lambs and chickens and produced endless amounts of fruits and vegetables in their gardens.  They did each of those things very well with intentions of feeding their family, blessing people and spreading God’s Word.

 They loved to travel around the world, and they took many trips with their kids and grandkids.  They had a deep respect for history, took pictures everywhere they went, and loved meeting new people.  They found great value in making memories and showing love to others everywhere they went.

 Ralph was a member of numerous community organizations and enjoyed serving others through them. He especially looked forward to helping with the annual Rotary corn boil.

Ralph was preceded in death by his devoted wife of almost 72 years, Merna, his daughter Marcia Sparks, his son-in-law Gary Doane, and grandson Nathan Sparks.

 A Celebration of Ralph’s Life will be held on Friday, April 19th from 4 to 6 PM at Speer Funeral Home, Aledo. A private family burial will be in Aledo Cemetery. Memorials in his honor can be given to Sterling College in Sterling, KS, Samaritan’s Purse, the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, or any other charity you wish to honor in his memory.


To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Ralph W. Gilmore, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Celebration of Life

Friday, April 19, 2024

4:00 - 6:00 pm (Central time)

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