Ralph Phillip Wareham passed away at home peacefully in his sleep early Wednesday morning, April, 17, 2013. Popoo, as he was affectionately known by his family, was born on August, 17, 1921, to Josiah and Elizabeth Wareham in Woodward N.D. He was the ninth of their twelve children. The family moved to California when Ralph was 18 months old and eventually settled in Calistoga. After graduating from Calistoga High School, Ralph went to work for the Mare Island Naval Shipyard. In 1944, Ralph left the Naval Shipyard to enlist in the Navy. Upon his honorable discharge in 1946, he returned to Mare Island where he worked as a supervisor until retirement in 1975. Ralph married his second wife, Christine, in 1958 and, later in the same year, they had the house they would both spend the rest of their lives in, built. They would later become known as Mimi and Popoo by their family thanks to their first grandson, Davey. Popoo is survived by his daughter Catherine Killion (Fred), son Phillip Wareham (Jana), stepdaughter Darla Budworth (David), stepson Dennis Williams (Donna), daughter in-law Bonnie Wareham, brother Bill Wareham, sister Jane Wilson, nine grandchildren, and ten great grandchildren. Popoo was predeceased by his wife Christine and son Ronald. Ralph was an avid golf enthusiast, playing nine holes three times a week at Wikiup Golf Course with a group of friends until the age of 89. When not playing, he was often watching tournaments on television. Along with Christine, who introduced him to golf, they were active members of the golf community. Ralph is best known in Santa Rosa for his leadership of the Santa Rosa Campions drill team. The Campions won five national and 13 state championships with Ralph at the helm in the 1950's and 1960's. In 1987, the Campions returned for the Santa Rosa Rose Parade when Ralph was honored as the Grand Marshal. After leaving the Campions, Ralph was asked to judge precision drill teams at parades throughout California for seven years, an honor of great pride for him. Popoo will always be remembered for his radiant smile, intense desire to bring happiness to anyone lucky enough to cross his path, and need to take care of all members of his family. His door was always open to all who needed love and support, and maybe a kick in the rear. Popoo was an avid supporter of the San Francisco Giants and 49ers, taking great pride in the Giants' World Series triumphs in 2010 and 2012. Popoo's love for gardening was evident in the beautifully designed and manicured yard he kept at home. Vibrant colors, a stone walkway and steps that encompassed several tiers along a hillside in the backyard, fresh vegetables every Summer and Fall, and four perfectly manicured lawns created a relaxing park like feeling. Within the yard were many birdhouses, aluminum can airplanes with wind spinning propellers, and small wooden garden décor created by Popoo. Along with these items, Popoo would design magnets and letter holders to share with family and friends or present as awards for success in golf tournaments. Popoo will be dearly missed by all who have known him throughout his life. We will always love you. A memorial service will be held on Friday, April 26, 2013 at 1:00 p.m. at the First Presbyterian Church, 1550 Pacific Ave, Santa Rosa, Ca 95404. All interested in celebrating Popoo's life are welcome.
The Guest Book is expired.
Published Online in the Press Democrat from Apr. 23 to Apr. 25, 2013