In Memory

Ralph Thomas

Ralph Thomas

Ralph William Thomas

Ralph William Thomas passed away peacefully on October 25, 2017 surrounded by his family and close friends. Ralph was born on June 10, 1943 in Langdon, North Dakota and was raised in Grand Forks, North Dakota. He attended school there until he joined the Marine Corp in 1961. After returning from the service, he worked with his Dad until he went to work at Rydell Chevrolet as a salesman. Ralph was in the car business for many years buying, selling and running many dealerships as well as helping others with their dealership projects. Ralph had a unique gift as a true salesman and had a passion for selling anything and everything.

Ralph is survived by his wife of 53 years, Carolee, his 3 children, Jill Thomas (Rob Hart), Tracy Cater (Ward Cater) and Ryan Thomas and his 5 grandchildren, Ward, Courtney, Zachary, Max and Mae.

Ralph was a very generous and compassionate man who helped many people over his very successful lifetime. He assisted both friends and strangers achieve their dreams, he very generously gave to many charities and always made certain that the family he loved so much was well taken care of.

A Prayer Service will take place on Friday evening October 27th from 5:00-7:00 pm at Whitney & Murphy Funeral Home, 4800 East Indian School Road, Phoenix, AZ 85018 (602-840-5600). The Funeral service will be held Saturday, October 28th, at 2:00 pm at Valley Presbyterian Church, 6947 E. McDonald Drive, Paradise Valley, AZ 85253 (480-991-6424). A Celebration of Life will take place after the funeral at the Montelucia Resort, 4949 East Lincoln Drive, Paradise Valley, AZ 85253 from 3:00-5:30 pm.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorials to go to the Phoenix Salvation Army, Donation Processing Center, PO Box 6002, Prescott, AZ 86304-6002, Attn: Ralph Thomas Fund.

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10/26/17 02:13 PM #1    

James Rye

My deepest condolences to Ralph's family. Ralph and myself enlisted in Marines together and went to Boot camp /infantry training .. I have many fond memories of Ralph. RIP. "Semper Fi"

10/27/17 11:18 AM #2    

Darrell Rude

I never like the emails we get that start with a subject line, In Memory.  Today's was the worst so far for me.  I didn't get to know Ralph until after he returned from the Marines.  We shared some common interests, cars mostly, and our friendship developed from there.

I will never forget that Saturday afternoon, around Easter time, when Ralph called me to tell me he was going to pick me up on Sunday and told me to bring my checkbook.  He had found me a car that he felt I should purchase.  Ralph was very convincing and before the day was over I owned my first Corvette.  He was also the person that encouraged me to start working at Rydell Chevrolet and shared his office space with me.  He was an inspiration and great teacher in the field of sales.  There was none better. 

I never watched a Barrett Jackson auction without thinking that someday I might see him submitting the winning bid of one of their beautiful cars. 

My thoughts go out Carolee, family, and friends.  I know they all meant a lot to Ralph.  He will be missed by many.  


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