Ball & Dodd Funeral Home

5100 West Wellesley Ave, Spokane, WA


Ralph Minot Stearns Jr.

March 21, 1939November 2, 2019

Ralph Minot Stearns of Medical Lake Washington, died peacefully on the evening of November 2nd with his devoted daughter Pattie Stearns holding his hand. He was born on March 21, 1939 in Clinton, Iowa and raised in Thompson, Illinois. He was the second son of Ralph and Ruth Stearns. He is proceeded in death by his parents, his sister Eleanor Plumley, and his brother John Stearns, his oldest daughter Debbie Cheaney and the love of his life Sharalyn Dean Stearns. They were blessed with 57 years of marriage.

Ralph served 22 years in the Air Force and had over 100 combat missions as a B-52 Tail Gunner in Vietnam. After he retired from the service, he became a police officer in Medical Lake. He was well loved and very active in not only the community but St. John’s Lutheran Church. He was a big jokester and he felt all things could be solved by taking two aspirins and calling him in the morning. He loved to golf or maybe it was just driving the golf cart and carousing with his buddies that made him happy. He had a good group of friends that enjoyed convening at the local watering hole.

Ralph is survived by his children Pattie Stearns, Terrie Stearns McWhorter (Doug), Bradley Stearns (Susanne), Jamee Stearns Stoddard (Chris), Jackie Stearns Knopp (Joey); his grandchildren Matthew Cheaney (Laura), Christopher Cheaney, Lacey Stearns, Brittni McWhorter Groothuis (Fritz), Tabitha McWhorter Randall (Kasey), Alex Stearns, Bella Knopp; and his great-grandchildren Cooper Groothuis, Sebastian Groothuis, Devan Cheaney, Jemma and Jaxson Cheaney.

Viewing will be on Tuesday November 12th from 10-11 AM, with services immediately to follow and a fellowship luncheon downstairs at St. John’s Lutheran Church in Medical Lake, WA. Interment will be on Thursday November 14th at 10:30 AM at the Veterans Cemetery in Medical Lake.


  • Funeral Service Tuesday, November 12, 2019
  • Graveside Service Thursday, November 14, 2019


Ralph Minot Stearns Jr.

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Randy Cheaney

November 12, 2019

It is with great sadness that I sit here now writing this.
Please allow me, My name is Randy Cheaney, I am dad to Matthew and Chris Cheaney. I was Ralph's first son in law...married to he and Shari's first daughter, Debbie.
I can assure that the 42 years that I have been associated with this man has produced many stories. Far too many to mention here.
Ralph was a great guy, I was always proud to be a member of his family. I learned a lot from him along the way, I saw his happiness, his love, his dedication and I felt his pain when he was hurting.
I am a better person for having Ralph as a FATHER in law,
and a better man in life following his guidance.
God speed my friend, travel safely and rest freely.
Please give our Debbie a sweet kiss and a big hug from me.
Til we meet again, your memory will forever be with me.
Love to you.

Gerald McMullen

November 9, 2019

To the family of Ralph M Stearns, I knew your Father Ralph while he was assigned to the
325th Bomb Squadron as a Combat Crew B-52G Gunner. He was an astute crewmember
who could always be counted on for his expertise in his rated skills and ground duties.
He served his country exceptionally well for 22 years. May he rest in peace.

My condolences,

Gerald W McMullen, LtCol, USAF Retired