August 16, 1930 – July 14, 2022
Ralph Leroy Stevens, lifelong educator and faithful church member, died on July 14 at the Californian Assisted Living and Dementia Care facility in Woodland, CA. He was 91 years old.
Ralph, fifth child of Robert Leroy and Violet Irene Stevens, was born in Midwest, WY on August 16, 1930. The family moved to Riverton, WY in 1944 where Ralph attended high school. He lettered in basketball, football, and track and worked before school for Morning Star Dairy delivering milk. He met Arlene Sostrom, the girl he would marry, three grades behind him in school. Ralph began his first year of college in Casper, WY, playing basketball, but then enlisted in the Air Force. He was sent to boot camp in Texas and was later stationed at Sampson Air Force Base in Geneva, NY. He and Arlene married in Riverton and returned to New York to
When Ralph was discharged from the Air Force in 1951, he and Arlene relocated to Sacramento, CA. With help from the G.I. bill, he resumed his college education at Sacramento Junior College (where he played basketball), and at Sacramento State University. He earned both a bachelor’s and a master’s degree in education. He student-taught in Sacramento, then took a teaching job in that city. For the next 30+ years, he served as principal in several Yolo County elementary schools, then as a district administrator for the Woodland Joint Unified School District.
Ralph and Arlene built their lives in California, but often returned to Wyoming with their sons for reunions and celebrations, for visits with Arlene’s parents (Horace and Helen Sostrom), and to hike and fish and hunt.
Ralph was a longtime member of the First Baptist Church (now Life Pointe Church) in Woodland. He served as a Sunday School teacher and board member, and sang in the choir. He loved getting together with family and friends, hosting large gatherings and making the family pool and patio available to church and family groups.
Ralph is survived by his wife of 71 years, Helen Arlene; their sons Rodney Lynn (Colleen), Randel Mark (Teresa), and Richard Scott (Alison); five grandchildren; and nine great- grandchildren.
A memorial service will be held for Ralph on August 20,2022, at 11 a.m. at Life Pointe Church, 1616 West St., in Woodland, CA. Pastors Cody Cannon and Mel Beals will preside.