Ralph Hubbard Redford
1916 ~ 2013
Ralph Hubbard Redford (born 1916) died as a result of "the aging process" on May 7, 2013 in his favorite spot, "the Turkish Corner" in his Washington, D.C., Riggs Place home.
He was predeceased by his wife of 52 years, Lora Bryning Redford, whom he first met in Burma and with whom he shared exemplary love and many great adventures, friendships, and well-earned memories after residing and working in several nations around the world. They were avid aesthetes, enthusiastically supporting Washington's museums and frequenting many lectures, operas, concerts, and plays.
Ralph is survived by three sons of whom he was exceptionally proud, Bruce Bryning, Kent Hubbard, and Scott Nicholas, and two beloved grandchildren, Hugh and Sofia.
Ralph was born and spent the first several years of his life in Grace, Idaho, then moved to Logan, Utah, for which he retained a life-long affinity. He attended Utah State University, where he received a B.A. and a certificate in economics. After wartime service in China, he joined the Foreign Service. His posts included Karachi, Kabul, Rangoon, Djakarta, Tapei, Kathmandu, Istanbul and Nicosia. After retiring from the Foreign Service in 1973, he served as vice president of Tetra Tech International. Ralph and Lora were vigorous advocates of education and, in addition to prior major gifts to Utah State University, they agreed to leave much of their estate to that university and to Lora's alma mater, University of Puget Sound, where Lora graduated first in her class and where their sons set up a scholarship fund in Lora's name several years ago.
Ralph read The Economist, Wired, and The New York Times religiously (as close as he came to religion) and read books and journals voraciously. After learning of the destruction of libraries in Afghanistan by the Taliban, Ralph packaged up and shipped thousands of personal books to that nation, leaving the previously teeming bookshelves in his home nearly bare. He was always full of information and shared strong opinions about world events and U.S. foreign policy. He loved to talk about it all, and more, as he prepared countless delicious meals for the many diverse friends visiting or living in his home.
Ralph was a skilled woodworker, weaver, gourmet cook, and gardener. He was also a dedicated conservationist, deeply concerned about the future of our world. With the aid of his family, he built a cabin from salvaged materials in the Blue Ridge Mountains, which he shared with many friends and where he would often visit alone, enjoying his books and solitude. After he was no longer able to make the drive, he gifted the cabin and surrounding acreage to the United States Park Service.
Ralph's long life and physical stamina, like Lora's, was likely due to a healthy habit of walking long distances every day, at a pace that would challenge many people decades younger. Likewise, their grasp of and interest in the world was due to a daily routine of reading, conversing, and being informed, engaged, curious world citizens. They enjoyed each day, while building for gratifying days ahead.
The gleam in Ralph's eye as he would tease and provoke, his sharp wit, and his warmth and charm drew to him not only diplomats, bankers, businesspeople, journalists, and politicians, but flower sellers, delivery people, and grocery store clerks, all of whose lives were enriched by their interactions with an extraordinary man whose friendship will be sorely missed, but whose love and caring will continue to inhabit our world far into the future.