ohn Ralph Garbutt, Jr. died peacefully at his home in San Diego, California on January 9, 2014. Ralph was born in Worcester, Massachusetts on March 11, 1924 to Myrtle Chaffee and John Ralph Garbutt, Sr.
Even as a youth, Ralph was a hard worker. He had an early morning and evening coal furnace route, stuffed newspapers and also worked in the mail room of the Worcester Telegraph, and drove a milk truck. During high school Ralph was president of his high Y group, president of Argus, treasurer of the camera club and was a member of the student council.
Ralph began college at the (now) University of Massachusetts. After only one semester he was called into active duty in the Army as the war was going badly. Ralph was awarded the Purple Heart for frozen feet incurred in the Battle of the Bulge. He received two silver stars- one for capturing three enemy soldiers with an empty bazooka and taking out a German Half-track that had his men pinned down. Another for reconnaissance work deep in enemy territory. He also was awarded a bronze star and was decorated by the Russian Army for distinguished service in battle (their Silver Star).
Returning in the first wave of GI’s to the University of Massachusetts campus, he purchased a house for the Sigma Alpha Epsilom fraternity where he was president. He put himself through college by working as a head waiter, painting houses and driving trucks for Curtis Lumber.
Soon after graduation, Ralph married Roberta Lillian Curtis. Ralph cherished their sixty-four year marriage. He began his career as an auditor at General Electric and later served in key marketing and as National Sales Director in their small appliance division. He came out of retirement to work six years at Black and Decker as their National Sales Director.
Ralph served as a deacon and trustee in the Plymouth Congregational Church in Framingham, MA. In 1971 Ralph joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (Mormons) where he continued to serve in various capacities , including Bishop, High Councilor, High Priest Group Leader, Stake Patriarch and temple worker in the San Diego Temple.
Ralph’s life was spent in service- to his beautiful physically handicapped daughters, Heather (Died 11/2006) and Holly (Died 11/1996), and later as primary caretaker of his wife Roberta who passed away in February 2013. His sister, Ann Garbutt Shaw also preceded him in death.
He is survived by his children, Scott Hunter Garbutt (Vicki), Mark Vernon Garbutt (Apua) and Beth Keyworth (William). Twelve grandchildren, Kylee (Jon) West, Matthew Keyworth, Peter Keyworth ( Niki), Taryn (Mike) Nader, Joseph Keyworth (Karoline), Brittany (Josh) Budinger, and Lara (Kyle) Carbine,Julie (Logan) Wilding, Jenny Garbutt, Alexandria Garbutt, Alisha(Garrett) Beecher, Christian (Natalie) Garbutt and twelve great grandchildren Drew, Jack, Sarah, Sam West ,Hazel and Simon Keyworth, Max Nader, Cormac Budinger, Madison Beecher, Layla and Theo Garbutt who will miss him very much.