Gregory Meredith Ralston
Gregory Meredith Ralston
  • April 10, 1951 - December 1, 2017
  • Houston, Texas

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Gregory Meredith Ralston, surrounded with love and care, peacefully passed away at the age of 66, on Friday morning, December 1st, 2017. Greg, a proudly born and raised Texan, was the youngest of five children born to, and preceded in death by, Mr. Horace Earl Ralston and Mrs. Gussie Mae (Ulrich) Ralston. Also welcoming him into our Lord's arms were paternal grandparents Jesse Hickman and Alice Vera Ralston; maternal grandparents Albert and Francis Ulrich; big brothers Jesse Floyd Douglas Ralston and Walter Earl Ralston; and many aunts, uncles, and cousins.

Greg spent his early years in the Fort Worth and Austin areas. In Fort Worth, if you didn't find him tagging along or getting into mischief with one of his three big brothers, you could probably find him, by no choice of his own, filling the role as a real-life baby doll for his big sister, Judy. It is in Austin where Greg spent years sharing a bedroom and a single ear bud with big brother Dave, in hopes of hearing some of the Colt .45s (known now as the Houston Astros) ballgame broadcasts. In addition to listening to the games, Greg worked hard at polishing his own skills as an All-Star Little League and a Babe Ruth League baseball player for several years; he also proved himself to be an avid golfer in high school. Greg liked to boast about the fact that he played the greens in high school against fellow Austinite, Ben Crenshaw. There was no mention of actual scores from these high school tournaments. Greg dabbled very briefly in the Golden Gloves boxing program encountering a wild boxer by the name of Johnny Cash (not the singer, Greg would always add). This was his first and last bout in the Golden Gloves.

Greg was never one to stay idle. In the late sixties and early seventies he found himself working alongside his brothers, uncles and his father within the family businesses of carpentry and auto-body repair. It was in 1972 Greg proudly became a devoted father himself with the birth of daughter, Tammy Kris (Ralston) Theriot. Greg's keen eye for details and his passion for working with his hands were put on hold when he dutifully enlisted into the United States Air Force, where he proudly served his country from 1976-1982. SSGT Greg Ralston spent his years of service in the US and England as a security specialist, with certification in the specialized terrorist threat division. His keen eye proved him to be a very accurate marksman. His passion for his Second Amendment Rights, and his love of shooting, never ended, but his military service time did. He left the USAF a member of the 67th Security Police Squadron, out of Bergstrom AFB, two years after he met and married his love, wife of 37 years, fellow SSGT, Jane Diane (Wards) Ralston.

Putting his security training to use, Greg worked several years for the Texas Department of Corrections before getting back into the familiar auto body paint and repair business. Greg would spend the next three decades of his life improving upon his knowledge of automobile, large truck, and heavy equipment repairs and damage. In the later years of his life, Greg started up his own appraisal company, based out of Houston. He was viewed as an expert in the business and called upon for a variety of unique tasks, including damages resulting from natural disasters. One such task came after Hurricane Sandy hit the northeast. He was commissioned to the then under construction, 9-11 Memorial in New York City, assessing and working up claim appraisals for damaged memorial museum construction materials and property. This included the flooded mangled firetrucks of fallen first responders, which had been salvaged for The Memorial, kept in plastic in the basement. Greg enjoyed the assignment of being in The Memorial, but made it clear he did not feel the need to ever visit NYC again.
Being his own boss allowed for flexibility of his assignments and of his time. Many of these assignments had him traveling on the road for hours in a day. It wasn't uncommon to see him with his grandkids working alongside him in the summers or Jane accompanying him on longer road trip assignments. He would also take advantage of this time to call family, making sure we all knew how much we were treasured and thought of.

Greg continued with a lifelong love of golf, always ready to mentor his grandsons, teach his son-in-law "a lesson," or just get out on the course with his friends. Greg enjoyed many other outdoor activities throughout his lifetime, including horseback riding, camping, fishing, and hunting - and let's not forget go-cart racing.

His love of nature and the outdoors took him and Jane on memorable vacations with his brother Dave and his wife Jean. Greg's interests weren't always outdoors though; he found himself to be a skilled recreational bowler. He enjoyed playing in a men's league and a mixed league, where he played alongside brothers Bubba and Doug, mom Gussie, and his wife, Jane. He also wouldn't pass up the opportunity to sit around the table and school his grandkids at a game of Monopoly - he was a lucky and ruthless player!

In more recent years, if he wasn't out on assignment or behind his desk, you could find him chatting with neighbors while piddling around the garage, keeping his front porch swept immaculately, or out back tending to his beautiful rose bushes. Greg also spent much of his time fussing at the squirrels for digging holes and scattering his mulch - all the while feeding them corn and the special blend squirrel food he would pick up for them at Ace Hardware. Greg never met a stranger and easily made new friends; be it the grocery store clerk, or his doggy daycare attendants, Greg's approachable demeanor, larger than life laugh, and genuine love for others naturally drew people to him. He was one of the