Ralph John Serpa Sr. passed away peacefully at home in Turlock on March 31, 2020.
Ralph was born on May 16, 1933 in Modesto, CA to John and Josephine (Mendonca) Serpa. He attended Washington Elementary in Turlock and Gratton School in Denair, until the family finally settled in Hughson, CA, where Ralph attended Hughson High School and played varsity baseball.
Ralph married Sara (Culpepper) Serpa on October 8, 1953 in Ceres, CA. He was drafted into the US Army in 1953, serving 11 months in Korea before returning to Hughson in December of 1954. Ralph started his milk (can) transportation company in 1956, changing to milk tankers after 1966. He was also a successful farmer, growing walnuts, and later almonds beginning in 1967.
Ralph was an avid member of many organizations, among them a past President of the Turlock Pentecost Association, a member of Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Turlock, a member of YMI, SES, Hilmar Cabrillo Club, the American Legion Rex Ish Post 88, Merced Elks, the Turlock Moose Lodge and Cortez Growers Association. He was also a member of the Farm Bureau and a Blue Diamond Grower.
Sara and her family wishes to thank all of the friends who called or stopped by this past year to visit with Ralph. A special note of gratitude to his loving caregivers Alicia Ruelas, Marie Snell, Karin Siem and the staff at Covenant Care Hospice who cared for his needs each day at home.
Ralph was preceded in death by his parents, John and Josephine and his sister, Elaine Costa. He is survived by his wife of 66 years, Sara Serpa; his children: Pam Peterson (Mike), Ralph Serpa Jr. (Jane), Brad Serpa (Debi) and Julie Alvernaz (Steve); his grandchildren: Craig Peterson (Shelbi), Grant Alvernaz, Adam Serpa (Krista), Katie Nicholson (Andrew), Shelby Avilla (Trent), Benjamin Serpa (Caitlin), Jared Serpa (Shelli), Jordan Serpa and Ellen Serpa; and his great-grandchildren: Avery Avilla, Addison Avilla, Claire Serpa, Finn Nicholson and Lane Serpa. He is also survived by his sister, Edna Panerra (Frank) and brother, Lloyd Serpa (Janice).
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, a private service will be held. The family will not be seeing any visitors at home during the pandemic. Please call Brad Serpa at (209) 652-3384 for any questions.
In honor of Ralph, remembrances may be sent to the Salvation Army or Hilmar Cabrillo Club.