(Joseph) Ralph Schleich, Jr. passed away at home in Madera on Thursday, February 6, 2014. He was 82 years old. Ralph was born on May 27, 1931 in Arbuckle, California to Burnice and Joseph Ralph Schleich, Sr. He was cared for by his Aunt Maud and Uncle Ward Charter following the death of his mother. His oldest sister Kathryn (Fredric) Schohr predeceased him. His sister Jane Evelyn “Betty” Bolin and his niece, Bernice Bolin (Lowell) Sater live in Sacramento, California.
After graduating from Pierce Union High School in Arbuckle and Yuba Junior College, Ralph was stationed at Fort Sill, Oklahoma. After his return to California he received a BA in Social Work from Sacramento State College.
Ralph married Margaret Evers in 1966. They have two daughter, Victoria Schleich Johns and her husband Miles and Deborah Schleich. Ralph married Margretta Maurer in 1972.
He has four grandchildren: Brendan Taylor, Eva Schleich, Alissa Taylor and her husband Jason Wood, and Christopher Schleich. McKenzy and Brodie Wood are his great-grandchildren. He is also survived by Margaret Evers Houck and Charlie Taylor.
Ralph worked as a mortician for ten years before becoming a Social Worker and Supervisor at the Madera County Welfare Department. He retired after 26 years in 1991. His next job was as grandpa transporting the kids to school, games and fun activities.
He had learned to do counted cross stitch and bake cookies, cheesecakes, pavlovas and fruitcakes. This allowed him to compete for Homemaker of the Year at the Madera County Fair and placed second, the last year the competition was held. Margretta and Ralph attended many family reunions in Kansas and traveled the world often with Vickie Jones and Evelyn Butler.
Even though he had not read two books in the last 50 years, he reluctantly began attending writing classes after he retired. Ralph became a published author with short stories in Ben Romero’s “Chicken Beak” Anthologies and four books published including “Tales From The Morgue.”
The family wishes to extend their gratitude to St. Agnes Hospice, Grace Community Church and Jay Chapel.
Visitation will be on Tuesday, February 11, 2014 from 2:00 P.M. to 7:00 P.M. with a Vigil and Rosary Service beginning at 7:00 P.M. at Jay Chapel in Madera. A Memorial Service will be Wednesday, February 12, 2014 at 1:00 P.M. also at Jay Chapel. Private interment will be at Arbor Vitae Cemetery in Madera.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the charity of your choice. Condolences may be left on the Jay Chapel online guestbook atwww.jaychapel.com.
Jay Chapel is located at 1121 Roberts Avenue Madera, CA 93637. Phone: (559) 674-8814 or (559) 432-8814. E-mail: jaychapel@jaychapel.