Ralph Douglas Saunders
August 2, 1951 – January 2, 2019
Ralph Douglas Saunders of Rolling Hills, Pineville, WV, passed away unexpectantly in Raleigh General Hospital surrounded by love on January 02, 2019. He was born August 02, 1951 at his family home in Bud, WV and raised in Stephenson, WV. Ralph graduated from Mullens High School in 1969. This was the same year he married his high school sweetheart and love of his life, Melissa Sharon Cook. He also began a life-long career in the coal mining industry. By 1975, these two “kids” were raising two children of their own, Rachel and John Saunders. Ralph excelled in his profession. He was a proud member of the National Coal Mines Rescue Team which competed nationally and won countless titles. Over the next 40 years, he evolved into a well-respected, highly accomplished and skilled Coal Mining Fire Boss and Foreman. Ralph was the “biggest kid” on Rolling Hills, like a second father to most of the kids and everyone’s “Little Buddy.” He didn’t know a stranger and his bigger than life smile was contagious. He loved his family deeply, enjoyed spending time and laughing with friends and showing off his little treasures that he found along the way. The smallest things brought him great joy in life. Ralph was preceded in death by his mother and father, Lillie Mae and Curtis Saunders, brothers Curtis “Babe” Saunders and Benny Saunders and the light of his life and wife of 48 years, Melissa Saunders. Those left to cherish his memory include his children Rachel and John Saunders, brothers and sisters, Della Houck, Darlene Kerr, Terry Saunders, David Saunders and Delbert Saunders, his beloved grandchildren, Caitlyn, Kylee and Garrett Saunders and hid favorite little buddy “Levi” the family dog. Funeral Service will be held at Blue Ridge Funeral Home on Sunday, January 6, 2019 at 2pm.
- Funeral Service Sunday, January 6, 2019