BETHEL, Mo. — Charles Ralph Coonrod, 77, of Bethel, Mo., passed away on Feb. 6 at the University Medical Center in Columbia, Mo. He was born in Tulsa, Okla., the son of Woodrow Wilson and Eva Pearl Curtis Coonrod. Ralph and Delberta “Debbie” Hollaway were married on Aug. 26, 1961, in Great Bend.
Ralph was a graduate of Great Bend Senior High School. He received a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering from Le Tourneau University, Longview, Texas. He toured the Pacific Ocean on a friendship tour in the United States Navy aboard the USS Bon Homme Richard. He had a lifelong career in insurance claims investigation and supervision.
Ralph was a member of the Bethel Christian Church where he served as a deacon and a Sunday School teacher; belonged to Gideon’s International; and was currently serving as Chairman for the Board of the Bethel Food Pantry. He was a Tiger Fork Township representative for the University of Missouri/Shelby County Extension Council; and a Tiger Fork Township representative for the Shelby County Republican Central Committee. He was a hobby farmer, loved raising designer dogs, loved mechanics, and was a great, great storyteller of his experiences.
Ralph is survived by his wife; two children, Charles “Chic” Coonrod (Shelly) of Katy, Texas and Marcee Coonrod of Bethel, Mo.; five grandchildren, Gregory Coonrod of Dallas, Texas, Tracy and Andy Coonrod of Katy, Texas, and Nicki Brittingham-Coonrod and Mandy Brittingham-Coonrod of St. Peters, Mo.; one great-grandson, Damien LaBarge; one sister, Margaret Coonrod Immenschuh (Bert) of Buffalo, Wyo.; three sister-in-laws, Lorrie Hollaway of Great Bend, Marcia Sloan of Chicago, Ill., and Mary Skolaut (Chuck) of Newington, Conn.; eight nieces and nephews; one aunt; and numerous cousins. He was preceded in death by his parents.
Great Bend (Kan.) Tribune, Feb. 17, 2013**