Ralph Wilbur Emrich, 91, of Hendersonville, passed away Thursday, June 17, 2010, at the Elizabeth House in Flat Rock. He was preceded in death by his wife, Billie Lee Emrich, and his two sisters, Dorothy Camp and Bertha Guiser. A native of Zelienople, PA, he was the son of the late Ralph Edward and Clementine Emrich.
Ralph was a man dedicated to his God, his wife, his family and his country. Graduating from Zelienople High School in 1936, he showed his strong love for flying when he had the opportunity to work for the original Piper Aircraft Corp. in Lock Haven, PA. He gained his pilots wings through the cadet training program and served in the Army Air Corps during WW2 as an instructor pilot for the B-25. He remained in the service with the Air Force Reserves ultimately attaining the rank of Lt. Col.
Retiring from civil service in 1977, he and Billie traveled extensively throughout the United States. In 1985, they moved to Alaska to be near their daughter Karen Hoffman, where they lived until 2004 when the family chose the Hendersonville area as “home”.
But wherever he went, Ralph was always recognized by his friends and acquaintances for two things, his strong faith and his loving heart. There was no need that he witnessed that he did not make an effort to meet.
Survivors include his daughter, Karen Elaine Hoffman; son-in-law, Daniel Hoffman; granddaughter, Krystal Cheri Hoffman; and a number of nieces and nephews.
Graveside services will be at 11:00 a.m., Tuesday, June 29, 2010 at Forest Lawn Memorial Park.