Francis Ralph Anderson, age 81 of Council Grove passed away December 7, 2020, at Morris County Hospital. He was born September 1, 1939, to Oscar Joseph and Sadie Louise (Mitchell) Anderson. Ralph attended and graduated from Dwight Rural High School. He married Phyllis Jean Lay on June 9, 1963 in Wilsey, KS. They made their home in Council Grove and had two children: Bruce and Debra.
Ralph had many jobs throughout the years and worked hard at all of them. After graduating high school, he was a Council Grove policeman, followed by hauling canned milk for Paul Sidler before starting his own dirt and gravel business and later owned and operated his own custom harvesting company. He later started truck driving, hauling cattle and freight, followed by working as a Forman for Kansas Instruments. He retired from the Morris County Road Department after numerous years.
He was a member of Pleasant Ridge Church, Odd Fellows, Council Grove Historical Society, Santa Fe Trail Association, and held numerous offices in the Kansas Draft Horse and Mule Association. Ralph was also a volunteer EMT.
Ralph was well known for hotel hack, trolley and stage coach rides, which he so enjoyed doing. He also enjoyed hunting, fishing and telling stories and jokes. He loved spending time with his family, and truly loved going to his grandson Zach’s sporting events. Ralph will be sadly missed by his family and friends.
He was preceded in death by his parents, wife Phyllis, sister Edith York and brothers, Warren and Kenneth Anderson.
Ralph is survived by his son Bruce Anderson and his wife Dorothy, of Americus and daughter Debra Anderson of Council Grove; grandson Zach Anderson and his wife Ashley of Ogden; and great-grandchildren Emma and Harper Anderson; sister-in-law’s Lila Anderson, Colleen Anderson and Barbara Lay; brother-in-laws Charles Rindt and Ron Leeson; as well as nieces, nephews and friends.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Santa Fe Trail 200 Celebration or Morris County Historical Society. They may be sent in care of Sawyer Funeral Home, PO Box 273, Council Grove, KS 66846.
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