ALTON - Ralph Junior Cates II, 87, died at 7:15 p.m., Wednesday, October 14th, 2020 at his residence in Cedarhurst Assisted Living in Bethalto after a period of declining health.
He was born in Jersey County, IL. on February 23, 1933, and was one of seven children born to the late Ralph J. & Norma (Pruitt) Cates.
He graduated from Jersey Community High School and soon married Agnes A. Groppel on September 5, 1953.
Ralph was selected for service on November 6, 1953 and served our country with the United States Army during the Korean War. He proudly served with the 2nd Armored Division and received the National Defense Service Medal.
Ralph was a well respected and talented Mold Maker (Machinist) for Owens-Illinois Corporation in Alton, IL., where he retired after 32 years.
Ralph and his wife Agnes were loyal & devoted members of the Community Congregational United Church of Christ in Godfrey where they both served as custodians for 30 years. Ralph also served on the building and grounds committee.
He took great pride in the home he shared with Agnes, their land, the pool, their orchard and received numerous ‘Pride Eye’ awards over 50 years for its beauty.
Ralph loved to work, he could build, repair, grow and maintain almost anything. He loved College Basketball, watching Golf, Fishing and developed a serious addiction for jigsaw puzzles. He was quiet mannered and funny and had an unbelievable memory of people, names and especially numbers.
Ralph Cates was almost unbeatable at cards, if you have ever ‘called him’, checked a raise, knocked or played a bluff too far...Ralph ‘Bud’ Cates has cleaned you out.
Together, Ralph and Agens shared 58 years of marriage and are the proud parents of six children, three boys and three girls.
He is survived by three daughters and a son in-law, Monica Howerton of Alton, Beverly & Fred Disch of Katy,Texas, and Carol Asbury of Alton; three sons & daughters in-law, Joseph & Caye Cates of Long Beach, California, Jay & Pam Cates of Brighton, and David & Ginger Cates of Peoria.; 17 Grandchildren; 20 great grandchildren; 3 great-great grandchildren; two sisters Charlotte Rulon of Loxley, Alabama and Doris Thompson of Fieldon; a brother & sister in law, William and Martha Cates of Florida; a sister in-law, Barb Cates of Arizona; a brother in-law, Donald Kinder of Golden Eagle; his in-laws, Wanda Groppel of Jerseyville; Dr.’s Stanley and Carol Groppel of Clarksville, Tennessee and Judy and Rev. John Hartleroad of Brentwood, Tennessee; as well as numerous nieces, nephews and their families.
In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his wife Agnes A. (Groppel) Cates; two sisters, Thelma Y. Short and Ruth Etta Kinder; a brother, Gerald L. Cates Sr.; two brothers in-law Charles L. Rulon and Harold “Ted” Groppel; his mother and father in-law, Raymond and Jewel (McAdams) Groppel; as well as a son in-law, Kenneth Howerton Jr.
Visitation will be held from 4 – 7p.m., Friday November 6, 2020 at Crawford Funeral Home in Jerseyville. Graveside services will be conducted at 10 a.m., Saturday, November 7, 2020 at the Fieldon Cemetery with the Jerseyville American Legion Post #492 conducting Military Honors.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be given to Meals on Wheels, in care of the funeral home.
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