Ralph Ivan Gilson

Newbury, Vt. — Ralph Ivan Gilson, 79, of Snake Road, died Friday, Dec. 7, 2012, at Cottage Hospital in Woodsville, N.H.

He was born in Newbury on April 23, 1933, a son of Herbert and Lizzie (Johnson) Gilson. Following high school, Ralph served his country as a member of the New Hampshire National Guard from January 1951 through Sept. 17, 1951, then as a member of the U.S. Navy from Sept. 18, 1951, until his honorable discharge on Sept. 30, 1955. He continued his service by enlisting in the U.S. Air Force and serving from April 18, 1957, through April 18, 1961, when he was honorably discharged. Finally, he was with the Vermont National Guard from Dec. 10, 1977, through Dec. 10, 1978, and was again, honorably discharged.

After his discharge, Ralph worked for various local companies as a plumbing and heating service repairman. Recently, he worked at the Four Corners Farm in Newbury as their handyman.

Ralph was a member of the Newbury Congregational Church, where he served as a deacon and a member of the board of trustees. He was a life member of the Haverhill Memorial VFW Post No. 5245 and of the American Legion Ross-Wood Post No. 20 of Woodsville, N.H. He enjoyed stock car racing. Mostly, Ralph loved his wife, children and grandchildren and his dog, Leo.

He was predeceased by several brothers and sisters.

Survivors include his wife, Marlene (Pearson) Gilson, of Newbury, to whom he was married on April 21, 1962; daughter, Valerie Gilson Gowac, of Middletown, Conn.; son, Daniel J. Gilson, and wife, Barbara, of North Pole, Alaska; three grandchildren, Jillian Gowac, Bruce Ruble and Erik Reeder; a brother, Carroll Gilson, of Deep River, Conn.; and several nieces, nephews, and cousins.

Calling hours will be on Tuesday, Dec. 11, 2012, from 4 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. at the Ricker Funeral Home, 1 Birch St., Woodsville, N.H., with a memorial service to begin at 5:30 p.m. with the Rev. David Pruitt, of the Newbury Congregational Church, officiating.

Burial will be at the convenience of the family in Oxbow Cemetery.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Mesothelioma Research Foundation of America, 5716 Corsa Ave., Suite 203, Westlake Village, Calif. 91362, or by going to www.mesorfa.org.

For more information or to offer an online condolence, please visit www.rickerfh.com.

Ricker Funeral Home, Woodsville is in charge of arrangements.