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Ralph Dee Spilsbury

08/28/1941 - 03/25/2021
Service Date: 04/01/2021
Service Time: 10:00 AM
Service Location: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints- 920 S Lindsay Rd, Mesa, Arizona 85204
Visitation Date: 03/31/2021
Visitation Time: 6:00- 8:00 p.m.
Visitation Location: Bunker's University Chapel, 3529 E. University Drive, Mesa, Arizona 85213
Interment: City of Mesa

Ralph Dee Spilsbury, 79, of Mesa, AZ, passed away peacefully on March 25, 2021, surrounded by his family.  He was born on August 28, 1941, in Whittier, California, the only child of Ralph Spilsbury and Georgia Ann Hurley (Smith). He graduated from Mesa High and married his sweetheart, Janelle Ray, on March 27, 1964. His large family was everything to him.  He was the father of 8 children, grandpa to 32, and great grandpa to 8. Ralph was very active in FFA in high school and won many awards.  His love of animals and nature continued throughout his life.  Ralph was baptized into The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints when he was 16 years old and served a mission in the Northwestern States Mission.  He received a Bachelors in Agricultural Science from ASU and a Masters and a PH.D in Agronomy from the U of A. He loved sharing his love of animals, plants, trees, gardening, soil, and fishing with anyone who would listen.  He enjoyed serving in various callings in the church but especially looked back on his years of being Bishop of Mesa 27th Ward with great fondness. Ralph is survived by his children Laura Jepson (Rick), Susie Petkovsek, David (Patti), Jeremy (Julie), Holly Eddy, Greg (Chelsea), Megan Turnbull (Josh). He was preceded in death by his parents, his wife Janelle, son Aaron Eric, and grandchildren Chad and Summer Petkovsek. There will be a viewing Wednesday, March 31st, from 6-8pm at Bunker’s University Chapel (3529 E University Dr, Mesa). Services will be held Thursday, April 1st, at 10am with a viewing prior at 9am at the LDS church building on Lindsay and Pueblo (920 S Lindsay Rd, Mesa). Here is the zoom link for those unable to attend in person. https://youtu.be/vAk3GaaHlak

Condolences

  • Tom & Connie Larsen

    We love Ralph. Such a good friend for so many years. He is a one-of-a-kind. Condolences to the entire family. He will be missed.

  • Debra (Covington) Stoddard

    My mom’s first cousin, but we called him Uncle Ralph. Loved this kind hearted man who always took time to talk and share stories. Sad loss for us, but joyous reunion with his sweet wife Janelle. One of my best memories of our reunions occured when the all the family celebrated thier wedding in 64 at Aunt Jerry’s home. Thankful that families are forever.❤

  • David & Louise Udall

    We remember fondly the great times we shared together when your dad was Bishop of the 27th Ward and you kids were attending Westwood high school. I like Thomas Monson’s quote, “God gives us memories so we can enjoy the June roses in the Decembers of our lives.” Your dad and mom truly made a difference. Our condolences and best wishes to each of you descendants. David and Louise Udall

  • John and Bobbi Rogers

    Ralph was special to so many! He was the most Christ-like man I knew. He was the last of a very special dying breed! There is no one who can compare to his humor which was mixed with so much love. I truly enjoyed the time I was able to share with him working in genealogy. Rest in peace with your beloved Janelle.

  • Ricky (Drae) Ramsey

    Ralph and I knew each other for only a few months. In those few months we learned a lot about each other. We spent hours watching movies together, talking about our past, and just laughing. I felt like those few months was years and we became closer and closer friends with each day that passed. I will never look at a desk bell or a remote control without hearing Ralph’s words in my mind making some of his special requests. I am thankful that we became friends and we could always give each other reasons to see the positives in any situation. I love my friend and he will be surely missed. I will listen to his song everytime I think of him. His flame will never burn out because he left a part of his flame inside all of us that will burn with happy memories of him for the rest of our lives. I love you Ralph and I will hold on to our flame of memories for the rest of my life. As we look up to the skies I know your are there looking back down at us smiling hand in hand with your wife and seeing the impact you are on all of us. Congratulations. You have a yours wings. I love your my friend.

  • Don & Connie Anderson

    So sorry to hear and our love to his family! He is in a better place and with his loving wife. We had the pleasure of seeing them and visiting with them at Rick and Laura’s. We went fishing and for a picnic with Ralph and Janelle and will always remember that special time. God bless! 🙏🙏🙏

  • Bob and Debra Barton

    Our prayers and thoughts are with your family as we morn his loss, yet celebrate his reunion with Janelle and the family that are there to greet him.

  • I will miss Ralph, but take joy in knowing that he is reunited with Janelle and is now free from all the serious health problems he endured over several decades of time.

  • Bob and Joyce Wold

    Oh how we love Ralph!! He is one in a million! We will miss him but are happy he is with sweet Janelle again. ❤️Besides being dear friends, Ralph and Janelle’s Jeremy married our daughter so we have shared grandkids! What a blessing that has been! We love ❤️ all of their family so much and send our love!! 😘🥰❤️

  • Marjean (Ray) Archibald

    I will miss you Ralph! You are one of a kind and there will never be anyone with your wisdom and wit and your great knowledge on just about everything. You and Janelle leave behind a wonderful family that will honor you for many many generations 🥰

  • W. Dea Montague

    I have loved Ralph since the first time that we met. Listening to the funeral services brought back many good memories. Especially Julie’s relating his call as Bishop of the 27th Ward. It is true that we asked for the priesthood holders to share names with us before we made our recommendation to the First Presidency for the Bishop. It provided needed insight to inform our decisions. I was reminded of his saying that he thought a Bishop would be older, and me telling him that he was older (4 years older than me)!
    He was a very wise and successful Bishop. He had the wisdom and inspiration to appreciate the seriousness of serious matters, and he had the personality and wit to find the humor in happy and sad times. His friendship is an inspiration to me.
    W. Dea Montague

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