Ralph E. Gunther Jr., 81, passed away at the Bailey Center on July 23, 2013.
Ralph was born in Cambridge, and raised in Brookline, Mass. At age 19, he joined the United States Air Force. Chief Master Sergeant Gunther traveled throughout all 50 states during his 27 years of service in the Air Force. Chief Gunther served during the Korean and Vietnam conflicts, and was an air-crew member on the B-36, his favorite aircraft. He was a "Cold War warrior" flying "COBRA BALL" missions over the Kamchatka Peninsula area from Sheymia Air Force Station, Alaska. After retiring, Ralph worked as a DVOP for the state of South Dakota for eight years and then in 1986 he settled in St. Augustine.
Ralph was an active member of Corpus Christi Parish. He served as a lector, Eucharistic minister and unofficial church photographer and was also a fourth degree member of the Knights of Columbus.
Surviving family members include: his devoted wife of 58 years, June Newsom Gunther; son, John Michael (Kimberly) Gunther; grandchildren, Timothy Alan (Leah) Gunther and Lara Elizabeth (Ryan) Rickles; great-granddaughter, Catherine Gunther. He also was a loved uncle to many nieces and nephews from both sides of his and his wife June"s families.
Visitation will be held from 5 to 7 p.m. on Sunday at Craig Funeral Home. A funeral Mass will be celebrated at 9 a.m. on Monday at Corpus Christi Catholic Church followed by inurnment at Black Hills National Cemetery in Sturgis, S.D. Flowers are gratefully declined. In lieu of flowers, please consider making a memorial donation to Corpus Christi Catholic Church.
Craig Funeral Home Crematory Memorial Park www.craigfuneralhome.com is in charge of the arrangements.