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Ralph Hilliard-Fort


1925 - 2013 Obituary Condolences
Ralph Hilliard Fort age 88, lifetime resident of the Nara Visa, NM community went to spend eternity with his Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, on Wednesday March 27, 2013, in Amarillo, Texas. Ralph was born January 19, 1925, at the family ranch at Nara Visa, NM to Samuel H and Winnferd (Brower) Fort.
Ralph attended and graduated from the Nara Visa High School in 1943, after which he served in the US Army until 1947, being honorably discharged with the rank of Staff Sergeant. He received his basic training at Camp Maxey at Paris, TX before being sent to Fort Ord, CA where he was then deployed to the Philippine Islands and was stationed at Manila Bay. Upon returning from WW II he resumed the family ranch operation. Ralph was also a trained electrician and plumber and operated a small truck business. He also set up windmills all over Quay County, installing over 125 towers and drilling 5 wells.
In 1953 he discontinued farming and began studying ways to improve the ranching operations. He selected polled Herefords as the cattle best suited for the climate and began a successful breeding program. He was a staunch supporter of the Nara Visa United Methodist Church and supported the local FFA Chapter.
In 1988 he was awarded Honorary Chapter Farmer by the Logan FFA Chapter and in 1989 he received the Honorary State FFA Degree from the New Mexico State FFA Association for his contributions to the agriculture industry. He never failed to attend the annual Nara Visa Community "Old Timers Reunion" and in 2012 was recognized for his 57 years of attendance.
Surviving Ralph Fort is his wife Jan, his daughter Wendy Branstine, grandchildren Nikolaus and Renate Branstine. Nieces and Nephews - Maxine Hughes and family, Paul Fort and wife Crystal, Bill Gandert & family, Robert Gandert Jr. and wife Gail, April Archuleta & family and Stephanie Helms. By Sisters in law Ruth Fort, Kathy Race and husband Rob and Carmaleta Gandert and husband Robert.
He was preceded in death by his parents, by son Frank Fort, by brothers Max and Ferd Fort.
Services celebrating his life will be Monday April 1, 2013, in the Nara Visa United Methodist Church beginning at 10:30AM Central Time {9:30AM Mountain Time} with Reverend Brian Hesse, minister of Trinity Lutheran Church in Amarillo, TX officiating. Interment will follow in the Nara Visa Cemetery.
Arrangements entrusted to Dunn Funeral Home of Tucumcari, NM.
Published in the Quay County Sun on Apr. 3, 2013
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