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Ralph Gordon Colbert


1925 - 2011 Obituary Condolences
Ralph Gordon Colbert passed away on June 13, 2011. He was born in Muskogee, Oklahoma on March 2, 1925. Ralph graduated from Whittier High School in 1942, having worked summers as a road surveyor in Henderson, Nevada. He joined the military and served his country as a pilot in the Army Air Force in World War II. In 1946, Ralph married Barbara Hungerford. He attended UCLA and California Aero College, graduating at the top of his class. In1948,Ralph was hired as a design engineer at Hughes Aircraft Company where he remained for 40 years. The highlight of his career was hisparticipation in the Lunar Surveyor Program. The Surveyor probes were the first U.S. spacecraft to land safely on the moon. Ralph, Barbara, and their growing family resided in Glendale, Lakewood, and Inglewood, before finally settling in Torrance. As the children grew up, the family enjoyed many trips to Crestline. Ralph put hisexceptional creative skills to work building a cabin in their favorite vacation spot. His responsibilities as an aerospace engineer involved work away from home with many trips to the East Coast as well as overseas. In 1982, Ralph agreed to a three-year assignment in Knebworth, England. He and Barbara thoroughly enjoyed their time in England and made many new friends. When Ralph retired, he and Barbara continued to travel, volunteered for their church, and spent time with their children and grandchildren. Ralph, of course, kept very busy with a myriad of construction projects ranging from house additions, to refurbishing sports cars to designing and building the church's columbarium. Ralph is survived by his wife, Barbara; daughters, Debby Dorsey (John), Tish Mitchell (Brian); son, Ralph Jr. (Brenda); and grandchildren, Kristen, Flynn, Vince, Stephanie, Logan and Tim. Services will be held at St. Cross Episcopal Church, 1818 Monterey Blvd., Hermosa Beach 90254 on Saturday, June 25 at 4:30p.m. Please sign the guestbook for Ralph atwww.dailybreeze.com/obits.
Published in Daily Breeze on June 22, 2011
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