US Navy Ret Chief Petty Officer Ralph Eldon Blackford set forth on his final voyage to meet his maker on March 5, 2017 at age 96. He was born in Darke County, Ohio on June 24, 1920.
He will be received by his wife Helen Pauline Prescott Blackford who took the voyage in 2009. Sending him off are his daughters Judy Hays and Joy Helmold, his grandchildren Lee Hays and wife Angie; Sarah Helmold Johnston and husband James Dean; Clint Helmold and wife Sheila; and great grandchildren Isabella Pauline Hays, Michala Culpepper, Sydney Johnston, and Ashley Lane. Ralph or Eldon depending on how you knew him spent 20 years in the US Navy most notably on the USS Lexington CV-2 that was made famous in the battle of the Coral Sea in WWII. He is one of the last survivors of that ship. He was a lifetime member of the American Legion, Post 252, where he served as Commander and Chaplain. After leaving the Navy he drove a school bus and served as a custodian in the Center Grove School System. He also served as the Superintendent of the Speedway Sanitation Plant. He loved studying the bible in Bible Study Fellowship and at Trinity UMC. He was an avid golfer and bowler all his life, and competed in and won tournaments from his time in the Navy all
the way to the Senior Games State Finals for the last four years. He will be missed by all who knew him; he touched everyone he talked to.
Fair winds and following seas.
Memorial graveside services for Ralph Eldon Blackford age 96 will be held Saturday August 12th at 10:30 AM in the Pleasant Hill Cemetery with military graveside rites by American Legion Post #211. Mr. Blackford had passed away on March 5, 2017.