Ralph Henry Andrus, Jr.

Ralph Andrus, Jr.  was born May 18, 192l, in Spanish Fork, Utah to Ralph H. Andrus, Sr. and Susanna Burch.  He was the second of four children and grew up milking cows, herding sheep and driving cattle.

 

His greatest love in the animal world was horses, but he had a particular fondness for a monkey named Rosie which he brought home from his years of military service in the Philippines.  When he proposed to his girlfriend, Ruth Facer, he told her if she didn’t take his ring, he would give it to Rosie.  Much to Rosie’s chagrin, Ruth was quick to say she would be honored to wear it.  They were married in the Salt Lake Temple on May 15, 1946.

 

A few days after their wedding, Ralph left on a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  It was an 18 month mission to the Western States. It was his way of thanking Heavenly Father for being with him in the war years. Prior to his marriage, he had been a member of Hinson’s Raiders, a contingent of youth who were sent to wage war in the Pacific in WWII. That group of soldiers became very close as they tAndrus Couple Photoook on the challenges to bring peace to a troubled world.  Though he was a soldier and saw a lot of war, he was in his heart of hearts, a peacemaker. His favorite scripture was John 14:27:  “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you.  Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.”

 

Ralph always had a heart for conquering mountains.  He had learned to drive a car as a nine-year-old and drove back to Detroit, Michigan, with his father when cars were a relatively new invention.  He also had a gift for calming bucking broncos that nobody else could tame.

As a bishop he took the ward members on an annual hike down the 5th Water Trail in Spanish Fork Canyon.  When he was called to the Office of Bishop by Harold B. Lee, he was told to take care of the widows and orphans.  This was vintage Ralph.  He had cared for his widowed grandmother as a young child and his widowed mother as an adult.  If there was one word that would describe him, it would be “love.”  He had a great love for his wife, his children, his grandchildren, his students at Spanish Fork Junior High, his comrades in the Army, the people he and his wife served as missionaries in the West Indies and he served in the Western States, the ward members he served as Bishop, the Founding Fathers of our great nation he taught about in his junior high history classes, the friends and neighbors that surrounded him in Spanish Fork, and his beloved ancestors, whom he honored with a love which justified his remarkably long and blessed life.  Ralph died as he had lived walking the streets of Spanish Fork as Jesus Christ had walked the streets of Palestine in absolute love and infinite devotion, a humble servant of God and of his fellow men.

 

He was preceded in death by his wife, Ruth, his parents, one brother, one sister, one grandchild,  and one great-grandchild.  He is survived by his sister, Marie Averette; his children, Ruth (Jim) Little, of Seattle; Sue (Wally) Blackhurst, of Bountiful; Cali (Steve) Fish, of Spanish Fork; Mary Anne (Richard) Hillier, of Los Angeles; Ralph H., III (Vickie) Andrus, of Nauvoo; and Crista (Dallin) Slaugh, of Renton, Washington; 36 grandchildren; 50 great- grandchildren; and 2 great-great grandchildren.

 

Funeral services will be held Monday, January 23, 2017, at 11:00 a.m. at the Spanish Fork 2nd Ward Chapel, 485 W. Center Street, Spanish Fork, Utah.  Family and friends may visit Sunday evening, January 22, from 6:00-8:00 p.m. at Walker Funeral Home, 187 S. Main Street, Spanish Fork, and on Monday morning at the church from 9:45-10:45 a.m. prior to services.  Interment will be at the Spanish Fork City Cemetery.

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23 Memories

  1. Sharee S Nielsen

    Dear Andrus Family, I am late in my reply, but I still want to reminisce a little about Mr and Mrs. Andrus. Mr. Andrus to me, because he was my school teacher. I loved him as a teacher. He always seemed so interested in me and I thought of him as a friend, as your dad and my mom we both teachers at the S.F. Jr High. Mrs. Swenson. Their classrooms were right next to each other and I know my mom enjoyed teaching with him. I also loved your mom Mrs. Andrus to me. She taught me English at S.F. High School. I have so much respect for her because she always treated me so well and was a wonderful teacher.
    It was not too many years ago, that your parents walked into the school where I work. ( I think they were there to provide some kind of service to our students) I was delighted to see them. I was able to express to them how much I loved them as teachers and the influence that they both had on me. I loved that opportunity!
    God bless your family with peace and comfort.

  2. Lana Hiskey

    This is an amazing family that has done so much for the students in this community. Your efforts will be missed. Thank you!

  3. The Lucille and Richard Taylor family including Douglas, Susan, James, Mary Martha, and John donated $500 to the Nebo Education Foundation in Ralph Andrus’ name to enhance education for Nebo School District children. Thank you for all the good you do!

  4. Lana Hiskey

    What a wonderful family. You have done so much for the community of Spanish Fork and all the students. Thank you!

  5. Max & Gay Wallentine

    Dear Andrus Family,
    Gay & I were out of town when this tragedy occurred and are sorry to have missed the visitation. Ralph is a dear friend and loyal Christian person. When he was given an assignment it was done to perfection and then some and even the most difficult he could accomplish. I have ridden with him on and in the mountains. You should all be very pleased with his reputation. He and Ruth taught most of our children over the years and he even bought and delivered a hat like his to me one day. God bless all of his posterity.

  6. Alan Roberts

    What an extraordinary man Ralph is. He was a positive influence on all he met. Words cannot express the influence he had on me and my family. Ralph is one of my HEROES. We love you and will miss you.

  7. Roger L Singleton

    Ralph was one of the best teachers I had. It was always great to go into his classroom and see his smiling face. He was a natural teacher. His patriotism was so strong. I did get the opportunity to tell him “thanks” for being such a great teacher a few years ago at the store. He left such a great legacy.

  8. George G. King

    I will long remember and honor this good and wonderful man. He taught me art and music and respect in Junior High. His classes were so fun. His philosophies were always right on.

    All those who knew him will treasure his legacy.

  9. Kathy Betts

    Mr Andrus was my favorite history teacher. I especially enjoyed it when he shared his war experiences. He was a wonderful man. Prayers for all his family.

  10. Cheris Nelson Losee

    Andrus family: Condolences to you at the passing of your sweet father. Ralph has been a wonderful friend to my family from my childhood. Always cheerful and easy to chat with. I feel blessed to have known him and your mother. My favorite memory of Ralph is when years ago, I was a twenty-something-year-old, he loaned me a ladies side-saddle from his collection. I rode that saddle on my sorrel horse, Kiowa, in the Utah County Fair Horse Show, Costume Class, where I won a ribbon. We talked about that saddle and its history; and how different it is to ride with both legs on one side of the horse, instead of sitting astride; definitely a change to learn different balance at the walk, trot, and lope (not to mention stopping). I loved that opportunity he afforded me because it was a great experience. I very much enjoyed his stories about horses, harnesses, the western tack he collected, as well as his vast knowledge of Spanish Fork, past and present. What a legendary, amazing man! I pray the Savior’s comfort be with you in the days ahead.

  11. Carol Coray Peterson

    I have 2 favorite memories of Mr. Andrus who was my teacher at Payson Jr. High.

    1.He told us about Rosie so I have thought about Mr. Andrus every time I visit Hogue Zoo.

    2. Mr Andrus was assigned to help me write a talk on the brotherhood of man for 9th grade promotion. He suggested I
    write a letter to a Deseret News writer asking for his ideas. When the writers response came, Mr. Andrus and I wrote
    what I thought was the best talk at graduation that year.

    I am grateful to be one many who was blessed to know Ralph Andrus. He was a great man.

  12. Chris Dixon

    I was saddened to hear of the loss of our friend, teacher, bishop.
    He was a great example of what a person could be and should be.
    In his words, “He paid the price.”
    I remember him opening the church early in the morning before school so we could play basketball.
    He was a great athlete and took good care of his body.
    I remember the early morning hikes down 5th Water and the ward breakfasts.
    He took a special interest in me.
    We will all miss him and bless his memory.

  13. stephen lowe

    my memories of Ralph and Ruth I would not no where to start my wife and I where there home teachers and visiting teachers for a long time almost up until Ruth’s passing .And we loved every minute of it listening to them talk about Spanish fork history and there family. my father died in 1999 and Ralph kind of to over that responsibility and help fill the void. his favorite saying when there was death in the ward or something in the church was ” That’s all part of the program” and he looked forward when he could see Ruth again. he was mad when they drilled into his head and brought him back when he fell when he was 92, he told me he had people he wanted to talk to on the other side. We were home teaching partners for as long as I can remember and were called upon to give many priesthood blessings. we were kind of on call for the ward because we were retired and available and he never wavered at the task. Ralph loved to go riding on my ATV to the places were he used to heard cattle in the day. Ralph also showed me were the people building the central Utah project lived and worked the kiln is still there. Ralph told me how him and is cousin hauled lumber in a wagon to the site when he was 9 years old and it was a two day trip up the mountain. The story about his folks putting him on the back of a horse up lake fork at the age of 4 or 5 and let the horse bring them home without any adult was somethin g else, he said the horse new the way home. His great love was working on the church farm in Goshen and his favorite horse snowball and working with Jesus the farm manager. Then snowball died and it was never the same for him. I had the feeling that he would never die of old age he could out walk me for speed and distance all the time. As one of only a hand full in our ward that served in the military we would swap war story’s and his were always the best and I loved to hear them. There are many memories of Ralph but that’s enough. from me love ya Ralph, miss you. It’s all part of the program.

  14. Dale Anderson

    He was my bishop as a young boy, he was my teacher in school and I still remember some of the lessons. Most of all he was one of my parents best friends. Even a week ago he was checking up on my mother to make sure every thing was ok. I will never forget burying his dog, the saint berneard that I rode around like horse. I will miss him.

  15. stephen lowe

    my memories of Ralph and Ruth I would not no where to start my wife and I where there home teachers and visiting teachers for a long time almost up until Ruth’s passing .And we loved every minute of it listening to them talk about Spanish fork history and there family. my father died in 1999 and Ralph kind of to over that responsibility and help fill the void. his favorite saying when there was death in the ward or something in the church was ” That’s all part of the program” and he looked forward when he could see Ruth again. he was mad when they drilled into his head and brought him back when he fell when he was 92, he told me he had people he wanted to talk to on the other side. We were home teaching partners for as long as I can remember and were called upon to give many priesthood blessings. we were kind of on call for the ward because we were retired and available and he never wavered at the task. Ralph loved to go riding on my ATV to the places were he used to heard cattle in the day. Ralph also showed me were the people building the central Utah project lived and worked the kiln is still there. Ralph told me how him and is cousin hauled lumber in a wagon to the site when he was 9 years old and it was a two day trip up the mountain. The story about his folks putting him on the back of a horse up lake fork at the age of 4 or 5 and let the horse bring them home without any adult was somethin g else, he said the horse new the way home. His great love was working on the church farm in Goshen and his favorite horse snowball and working with Jesus the farm manager. Then snowball died and it was never the same for him. I had the feeling that he would never die of old age he could out walk me for speed and distance all the time. As one of only a hand full in our ward that served in the military we would swap war story’s and his were always the best and I loved to hear them. There are many memories of Ralph but that’s enough. from me love ya Ralph, miss you.

  16. Leonard Ellis

    I salute such a great individual! I love Ralph’s smile and his love of others.
    Loa and I will be out of town for the funeral; but, we just wanted to tell the family how much we admired Ralph and Ruth. They have always been examples to us.
    Love,
    Leonard & Loa Ellis

  17. Mike Gardner

    What a great man! Truly a disciple of Christ. I have known Ralph for many years. Way back to Jr High School days.
    I have watched him for years walk down past SF High School along with his wife. Blessings to his family.

  18. Philip T Huff

    I was sad to hear about Mr Andrus passing as I remember he was my history teacher in Jr High school we always got him sidetracked about the war. We lived his story’s about World War Two

  19. Dianne Andrus Blackham

    I am so sorry for the loss of your father, my fathers cousin and friend. I have admired him and your family for years and will pray for your comfort at this time. You were lucky to have him for so many wonderful years!
    Dianne Andrus Blackham

  20. Toni Ellsworth

    For the 12 1/2 year’s I have lived here, I remember seeing Ralph walking around the neighborhood. He was always willing to help and give service to any who were in need and came to my aid on several occasions. I am going to miss seeing him make his rounds. If there is anything I can do to help, please let me. RIP Ralph. Prayers go out to your family.

  21. Marthanne Argyle

    What a beautiful tribute. I loved your dad and mom. Blessings to your family

  22. Jonena Beckstrom

    Mr Andrus was a dear friend and colleague of my father Ted Beckstrom when they were teaching. He influenced many young lives for good.

  23. Cali and Steve we are heartbroken for your loss. If there is anything that we can do at all, just say and it will be done. Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your whole family.