JOHNSON - Ralph Eugene Backus of Johnson died peacefully Wednesday, March 27, 2013, at St. Albans Healthcare and Rehab Center. His wife, Barbara, of 47 years was with him when he passed from complications of Parkinson's Disease.
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Ralph was born January 20, 1939, on Birch Hill in Brandon, VT, to Ralph and Doris Backus. He attended school in Brandon and graduated from Pittsford-Barstow High School, Pittsford, VT.
Ralph proudly served his country in the National Guard and the U.S. Navy, stationed at the Naval Air Station, Barber's Point, HI. He was a member of the American Legion and also served as a volunteer fireman in the Johnson Fire Department.
He had been employed at Vermont Marble Company (Proctor, VT); P.H. Edwards; H.A. Manosh; Eastern Magnesia (Talc Mill); and IBM. Ralph enjoyed working with wood, programming his computer, playing cards, hiking the Long Trail and walking the loop around the town of Johnson.
He enjoyed being with his family, especially his children and grandchildren. He enjoyed sharing stories of growing up on the farm in Brandon and traveling with his father while delivering hay.
Ralph is survived by his wife, Barbara; son, Kelly and his partner, Rebecca Whitaker of Lowell, VT; son, Matthew (Kim) of West Gardiner, ME; daughter, Sarah Chambers (Joseph) of Cavendish, VT; son, Tyler (Meredith) of Oakland, ME; and 7 grandchildren: Robert Coburn, Nicholas, Isaac, Trevor, Noah, Avery and soon-to-be born "Baby" Backus.
He is also survived by sisters, Mary Bishop of Brandon; Ethel Larivere (Robert) of Whitehall, N.Y.; June Coburn of Rutland; and Ruth Ann Lafferty of Easley, S.C.; and his brother, Martin Backus (Joanne) of Pickens, S.C. He is also survived by a number of nieces and nephews. Besides his parents he was predeceased by a brother, Ellsworth.
There will be time of gathering for family and friends on Saturday, March 30, 2013, at the United Church of Johnson at 1 p.m. Please come and share your memories.
In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the Johnson Fire Department, P.O. Box 447, Johnson, VT 05656.
Published in Rutland Herald on Mar. 30, 2013