James H. Ralston
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James H. Ralston
  • January 4, 1928 - November 21, 2017
  • Houston, Texas

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James Harry "Jim" Ralston was born on January 4, 1928 in Cleveland, Ohio to Joseph Harold and Estella Davis Ralston. He was the youngest of three boys. His eldest brother Joe lived until 91, and they remained great friends until Joe's death. His middle brother William died of cancer at 34, and Jim carried memories of William with him always. Despite being born during the depression, Jim had fond memories of his childhood. His parents open their home to family and then to boarders, and his father worked three jobs to make ends meet. His childhood home was full of people, music and laughter.
Jim graduated from John Adams High School in 1945 and enlisted in the Army where he served until 1948. Jim served as a photographer for the Army as part of the occupation forces and his assignments included photographing attendees at the Nuremberg Trials.
Following his service, Jim entered college at Ohio University where he received a degree in Business Administration. Jim spent his career in technical sales, first for U.S. Steel based in Ohio, and then for Reilly Chemical in Ohio and Houston.
Jim married Patricia Jane Shafer on July 11, 1964. Pat and Jim were a devoted, loving couple, and he missed her terribly following her death in 2005.
Jim and Pat welcomed their son, Andrew, on February 9, 1966 and made many great memories in their Chagrin Falls home set among the rolling, wooded hills of Ohio. Jim, Pat and Andy moved to Houston in 1979 where they settled in the Champions area and were members of John Wesley United Methodist Church.
When Andrew married Dianne Blackwell in 1994, Jim and Pat welcomed her into the family as a daughter. Andrew and Dianne have two beautiful daughters, Reagan Elizabeth and Peyton Jane, who were the pride and joy of their dear Poppy.
Upon his retirement, Jim devoted himself to his son and granddaughters, never missing a school play, sporting activity or birthday party. He also enjoyed golfing, art, wood working, and reading biographies.
Jim was a kind, generous and funny soul who loved hearing and telling great stories - and he had hundreds of them.