Ralph Eugene Whitford

Ralph Whitford
Ralph Eugene Whitford passed away peacefully on December 10, 2013 in Newport Beach, CA. He is survived by his three sons, William (Pua), Robert (Leann), Brian (Dom) and grandchildren Alexandra, Broderick, Kekai, Wailana and Kainoa.
    Ralph was born on June 9, 1929 in Orange, CA, where he was raised with his three sisters, Marie Brown, Marilyn San Ramon, and Shirley Martinez. He graduated from Orange High School and served in the U.S. Army during the Korean War. Ralph then worked as an aide to William Spurgeon III to prepare the open Irvine ranchland that is today Newport Center to host 50,000 scouts from around the world at the 1953 Boy Scout Jamboree. He also got his degree (later earning a Master’s degree from Chapman University) and began teaching.
    Ralph, former wife Barbara (Corki) Rawlings, and their three sons, called the Sea Scout Base on Newport Harbor home from 1956 until 1969, where his commitment to teaching youth seamanship and life skills was apparent to all. He volunteered extensively to bring the tall ship ‘Argus’ into service for the benefit of many of the area’s youth.
    Yet Ralph may be best remembered as Mr. Whitford, the teacher who taught generations of sixth graders at Newport Elementary School from the 1950’s into the 1990’s. After retiring, he especially loved playing the role of Santa every Christmas.
    A memorial celebration will be held at the Newport Aquatic Center (One Whitecliffs Drive, Newport Beach, CA 92660) on Saturday January 11, 2014 at 3:00 p.m.

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