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Ralph Ellis Gaither Jr.

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Ralph Ellis Gaither Jr. Obituary
Ralph Ellis Gaither, Jr.

Gulf Breeze - CDR Ralph Ellis Gaither, Jr., U.S. Navy (Ret.), resident of Gulf Breeze, FL, went home to be with the Lord May 7, 2019 surrounded by his loving family.

He is survived by his loving wife, Barbara (Bobbi); his daughters, Nikki Minoso (George) of Fairhope, Alabama, and Amy Killila (John) of Aiea, Hawaii; grandchildren, Wyatt Gaither Townsend, John Jr., Molly, and Samuel Gaither Killila.

CDR Gaither enlisted in the U.S. Navy on November 26, 1962, was commissioned and designated a Naval Aviator on October 16, 1964. After fleet training, Gaither flew combat missions in Southeast Asia with Fighter Squadron VF-84 from the USS Independence. On October 17, 1965, Ensign Gaither was forced to eject over North Vietnam and taken as Prisoner of War. His personal heroic actions during his capture were recognized after his release during Operation Homecoming on February 12, 1973. Ralph served 23 years in the Navy, retiring in 1986. The family gives special thanks to our dear friend and nurse, Lisa Miller, with her continuous loving care, The Arbors of Gulf Breeze and Emerald Coast Hospice.

In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donating to the Pensacola Aviation Museum or Northwest Florida Blood Center. A Memorial Service will be held on Thursday, May 16, 2019 at 10:00 am at Gulf Breeze United Methodist Church, 75 Fairpoint Drive, Gulf Breeze, Florida 32561.
Published in Pensacola News Journal on May 12, 2019
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