June 12, 1926 ~ November 24, 2012
"Ralph was a devoted husband of Lawana,
a loving father, grandfather and great-grandfather.
He will be greatly missed by
many relatives, friends, and former students."

Ralph E. Phares, age 86, of Vancouver, WA, retired science teacher of Evergreen High School, who taught at EHS for 40 years, passed away in peace at his home on Sat., Nov. 24, 2012. (He retired in 1995.) He was born in Sidney, MT on June 12, 1926 to William and Alice Phares.
Ralph graduated from Lambert, Mt. Hight School as valedictorian. He was an honor graduate of Clark College, B.S. Magna Cum Laude from Lewis & Clark College and M.S. honors from Oregon State University.
Ralph was a veteran of World War II as an Army infantryman who fought in the Philippines; he was proud of his 37th Infantry Division. His prized medals were the Combat Infantry Medal, the Bronze Star for Valor, Good Conduct Philippine Liberation and Independence, Asiatic Pacific, and World War II victory.
He was an avid reader, music listener (especially country), genealogy researcher, stamp and coin and glass collector, traveler in all the USA by car, airplane and Amtrak. He really loved all animals; many cats, dogs, fish, iguanas and birds were his pets.
Ralph's memorable cruises with his wife were Panama Canal, where they visited South America, Costa Rica and Mexico. He loved their Mississippi River Steamboat cruise and the Alaskan cruise.
He is a long time member of the American Legion, VFW, Washington Retired Teachers, AARP and the NEA, WEA and EEA.
Ralph loved his large family of relatives
and dearly loved teaching.
He dedicated his life to family and his teaching.
Ralph's survivors include his wonderful wife of 60 years, Lawana; his close-knit family: daughter, Carla Groce; four sons, Craig (Sheri), Mark (deceased), Lee and Kirk, all of Vancouver, WA; many grandchildren, Kelsi, Cory (Amy), Jamie, Tyler and Kirk Jr. (all Phares'), Jennifer Groce and Kelly (Bart) Sullivan; and our great-grandchild, Emily Sullivan. Ralph had nine brothers and sisters. Only one sister, Amanda (101 years old) is still living in Lodi, CA and only two brothers, Wayne (June) and Daryl, live in Vancouver, WA; and many, many nieces, nephews and cousins.
Ralph was preceded in death by his parents, William and Alice; dear son, Mark; brothers, Arthur, Wilbert and Orville; sisters, Louise Perry and Ruth Maschera; nephew, Kenneth Phares (killed in the Vietnam War); son-in-law, Kenley Groce (died of mesothelioma); and two other nephews, Art and Raymond Phares.
A funeral service will be held at Columbia Presbyterian Church, where Ralph and Lawana are members, on Sat., Dec. 1, 2012 at 1:00 p.m.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to the and Hospice Care.
Please sign his guest book at: www.columbian.com/obits.


Funeral Home

Evergreen Memorial Gardens Funeral Chapel
1101 NE 112th Avenue Vancouver, WA 98684
(360) 892-6060

Published in The Columbian on Nov. 27, 2012