Our beloved Dad, Father-in-Law, Grandpa, Greatgrandpa, Uncle and good friend to many around the world….went Home to hear “Well done. Well done good and faithful servant” on May 12, 2021, at the age of 94. He had a short illness and was in Skyridge Hospital in Lone Tree, Colorado.
Ralph Whitlock, was born July 21, 1926, in Mt Vernon, Illinois, the youngest of 13 children, not all of whom survived infancy and, in fact, one succumbed to the Spanish Flu of 1917. Due to family challenges, he was placed in a Masonic Orphanage south of Chicago, where he lived for a number of years from age 3. His mother, having remarried, took him to live on a farm in southern Illinois, and then at age 17, he joined the Navy, but not before meeting his wife-to-be, Marilyn Bernise Pace, an elevator operator at the University of Chicago. She would later become his wife and and love of his life for 67 years, before she passed away in November 2013.
Ralph served on the U.S.S. Halloran, a Navy Destroyer Escort, in the Pacific in WWII. He experienced extensive combat, including serving at both Iwo Jima and Okinawa, where his ship underwent a kamikaze attack. Discharged from the military, at the end of WWII, he returned to Chicago and married Marilyn and reentered civilian life along with millions of others of the Greatest Generation. He became an electrician, working in the Greater Chicago area and was a 72 year member of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers 134. Civilian life was then interrupted once again when he was called up for service in the Korean War, and was on the Floyd B Parks, another Navy Destroyer Escort, where he served as an electrician's mate. His son, Dennis Whitlock, was born in 1949, and then his second son, Scott Whitlock, was born in 1957. The family lived in Carpentersville, Illinois for many years, with both boys going to Barrington High School. As Ralph continued his long career as an electrician, he pursued his lifelong passion for singing. He sang with many choral groups, concluding his long career with the Parker Chorale. He also sang many duets and solos at his church, Parker Hills Bible Fellowship. He truly was a man with a song in his heart! He was still taking voice lessons just one week prior to his death. Additionally, he served as President of the Destroyer Escort Sailors Association in Denver, and scheduled many speakers for many years. In this capacity, many friends and family had the opportunity to hear first hand testimonies of amazing WWII and Korean War survivor’s stories, both civilian and military, to include Auschwitz and other concentration camp survivors. Over the years, he spoke to many grade school, high school and university student groups about his experiences in the Navy in WWII and the Korean War. Ralph also used his electrician expertise to help ministries around the world, including in Africa, Estonia, Ukraine, Honduras, Guatemala and many churches and ministries in the United States. He also wired or fixed electrical problems for many friends, widows and family! He was actually doing electrical work up until a year before his death when he experienced significant vision loss through macular degeneration. An avid reader, 3+ hours a day, in the months preceding his death, he enjoyed the use of amazing technology, Orcam, which could scan and audibly read to him. He was doing biblical apologetic studies, even in the hospital in his final days.
Ralph often shared and included in all his public presentations, that there were three significant relationships in his life. The first one was at age 17, coming to faith and a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, the second was joining the Navy at age 17, and then marrying the love of his life at age 20, his wife, Marilyn, of 67 years. Of those three significant relationships, he said only one remained, and that was the one with Jesus Christ. Hours before his death, he was expressing his deep love for God and was excited for Eternity. He shared his faith with almost everyone he met. He was a joy to the medical staff at Skyridge, and many asked to take care of him on their shifts.
He was a longtime resident of Parker, Colorado, since 1989. He went to Mission HIlls Church for a time, but then moved to Parker Hills Bible Fellowship, where he enjoyed serving and growing in his faith for many years.
Ralph Whitlock is survived by son, Dennis Whitlock and wife, Susan; Grandson, Tristan Whitlock and wife, Elizabeth; great grandchildren, Thane, Amaris and Elijah, and Grandson, Jacob Whitlock, all from Colorado. He is also survived by sister-in-law Marian Buzan of Barrignton, Illinois, and nephew, Rick Venuso and wife Joy of Cary, Illinois. On the Whitlock side of the family, he is survived by nieces Sandy, Nancy, Roberta, Janet, and nephew Randy, as well as many great nieces and nephews.
Preceded in death by his parents, Ora and Flossie Whitlock, his wife, Marilyn (Pace) Whitlock, son, Scott Whitlock and siblings Clarence, Archie, Kenneth, Keith, James, Dorothy and Robert.
In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to the Kids Alive International link below.
Celebration of Life Sunday July 25, 2021
Light Refreshments To Follow
1:00-3:30pm Live Streaming
Parker Hills Bible Fellowship
7137 Parker Hills Ct, Parker, CO 80138
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Kids Alive International
P.O. Box 2117, Valparaiso IN 46384-2117