Ralph Stringfield, local rancher and member of an area pioneer family passed away on Dec. 20, 2007, at the ranch his parents homesteaded when he was six years old.
Born July 7, 1923, in Prescott to Garnet Rhodes Stringfield and Lon F. Stringfield, his family has lived in the area for many, many years. His great-grandfather, Joe Crane, was an area businessman from the late 1860s through the early 1900s. His grandmother, Harriet, was a teacher in one-room schools in the county prior to her marriage. He also worked with Bob Perkins on his ranch (now the Deep Well Ranch) while managing his own ranch work.
Ralph graduated from Prescott High School in 1941 where he played football at tackle position. He also participated in various rodeos as a young man as a "mugger" in the Wild-Cow Milking Contest for the Matli brothers.
He was a member of Yavapai Cattle Growers, Arizona Cattle Growers, and Arizona Farm Bureau, where he was president of the local group for 11 years and participated in the early Cowboy Camp Meeting. He also was a reserve police officer for Prescott City Police during the '60s and early '70s, which he really enjoyed. He was honored in 2003 by the Sharlot Hall Museum, being selected as one of the pioneer ranching families during the Cowboy Poets Gathering, which surprised and pleased him immensely. He was interviewed and recorded by Sharlot Hall on his life in ranching and the locations of one-room schools in the area.
Ralph is survived by his wife of 61 years, Genevieve (Sipes), and daughter Irene. He is also survived by sisters-in-law Ann (Richard) O'Donnall of Payson, Dorothy Bong of Avondale, Bertha Howard of Cottonwood, and Nell Hollenbeck (Larry) of Texas; brother-in-law Robert Sipes (Cathy) of Ash Fork; cousins John Hunt, Helen Woodburn and Richard Johnson; and numerous nieces and nephews.
He embodied the life of a rancher; he and his wife worked the ranch, doing all the work side by side. He enjoyed making peanut brittle, making jerky, watching hummingbirds, wood-cutting, welding and braiding rawhide. He was an independent thinker, minded his own business and expected others to do the same.
Services will be held at 11 a.m. following the visitation at 10 a.m. on Thursday, Dec. 27, at Heritage Memory Mortuary on Grove Avenue, located on the same lot on which his maternal grandmother once owned a boarding house in the 1930s. Burial will follow at Mountain View Cemetery in Prescott. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be sent to YRMC Hospice Organization, 3262 N. Windsong Dr., Prescott Valley, AZ 86314.
(Information provided by survivors.)
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