Ralph Leroy Oldham was born Jan. 11, 1935, in Tucumcari, N.M., son of Virgil and Bessie (McCrary) Oldham. He died June 17, 2012, in Durango, Colo.
Leroy joined the U.S. Navy in 1952 and retired as Senior Chief Radioman in 1971, serving an additional 10 years in the Naval Reserves. While in the Navy, he served aboard the U.S.S. Chourre and U.S.S. Saratoga, receiving numerous service commendations.
He was then employed with the U.S. Forest Service and U.S. Postal Service in Pagosa Springs, culminating in 41 years of federal service when he retired on Jan. 31, 1997.
Leroy married Allie Annie Bell Wilson on Jan. 21, 1956.
He is survived by wife Ann; daughters Carol Jean Hazel (Mike Davidson, Portales, N.M.), Shari Merie (Buck) Pierce and Terri Lynn House; grandchildren Jason Hazel of Bluffton, S.C.; Christopher (Summer) Hazel of Amarillo, Texas; Michael Pierce and Randi Pierce (Jedidiah Everett) and great-grandchildren Justin and Harper Hazel. He is also survived by brother Therman Dale (Helen) Oldham, sisters-in-law Peggy Oldham, Shirley Hill and Ruby Goates, brother-in-law Donnie Wilson, and numerous other cherished family members.
He was preceded in death by his parents, siblings Arthur Dwain, Wanda Laverne, Johnie Kern and Phillis Anne, as well as brother-in-law Ricky Don Robinson and sister-in-law Elizabeth Beakley.
Visitation will be held from 4-7 p.m. today at White’s Family Funeral Home and a graveside service will be held at 10 a.m. Friday at Hilltop Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the San Juan Historical Society, Box 1711, Pagosa Springs, CO 81147.