Ralph Lee Lurker
July 6, 1939 – April 4, 2020
LTC (Retired) Ralph L. Lurker passed away on April 4, 2020. There will be a planned military memorial service at Fort Benning, Georgia to be announced at a later date.
On July 6, 1939, Ralph Lurker became the first of three children born to Ralph Homer and Thelma (Clark) Lurker of Leavenworth, Kansas. Born in a time of uncertainty caused by the outbreak of World War II, Ralph spent much of his infancy in his mother’s care, while his father served as an enlisted man in the United States Navy. Ralph attended both elementary and High School in Leavenworth, Kansas and enlisted in the United States Army in June of 1957, stationed at Fort Carson, Colorado. Ralph was accepted into the United States Military Academy at West Point, New York one year later. While a cadet at West Point, he met Jean Marlyn Smith of Scottsburg, Indiana. The couple married on 7 August, 1962, two months following his graduation and commission as a Second Lieutenant on 6 June, 1962. Ralph served as an Infantry Platoon Leader in Korea and Fort Benning, Georgia. He earned his law degree while continuing his military service from University of Kansas- Lawrence, followed by completion of the Army Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas in 1972.
Ralph and Jean enjoyed nearly six decades together and made several relocations as a military family: from Korea to Fort Benning, Georgia; to Fort Leavenworth, Kansas; to Fort Lewis, Washington; to Fort Sam Houston, Texas; to Thailand; back to Fort Lewis, Washington; MacDill Airforce Base, Florida; back to Fort Benning, Georgia, where he retired from the United States Army as a Lieutenant Colonel after 23 years of distinguished service on 31 December, 1984. As a Vietnam era soldier and infantryman, Ralph was awarded the Expert Infantryman Badge, Parachutist Badge, Vietnam Service Medal, Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal, Joint Service Commendation Medal, and the Army Commendation Medal with oak leaf cluster.
Ralph continued to work as a Court Administrator in Erie, Pennsylvania; Birmingham, Alabama; and Jonesboro, Georgia, where he retired in 2005 and returned to Columbus, Georgia.
Ralph is survived by his wife, Jean Lurker, and four sons, Ralph Roger Lurker (Lisette) of Woodstock, Georgia; Jeffrey Lurker (Julie) of Phenix City, Alabama; Michael Lurker (Jaqueline) of Birmingham, Alabama; Gregory Lurker (Sabrina) of Tacoma, Washington; and numerous grandchildren and great- grandchildren. His ashes will lie at the Main Post Cemetery in Fort Benning, Georgia.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be given in memory of LTC Ralph Lee Lurker to www.columbushospice.com.
- Jean Lurker, Wife
- Ralph Roger Lurker (Lisette), Son
- Jeffrey Lurker (Julie), Son
- Michael Lurker (Jaqueline), Son
- Gregory Lurker (Sabrina), Son
- Ralph Homer Lurker, Father (deceased)
- Thelma Clark Lurker, Mother (deceased)
- Mr. Lurker also leaves behind several grandchildren and great-grandchildren to cherish his memory.
- Columbus Hospice
Thursday, July 2, 2020