I was born February 24, 1931 in Martinez, CA to parents Gordon Corey Ralls and Frances Rhoda Durham Ralls. An active young man, I was urged on by my mother to become an Eagle Scout, and by my father a Master Counselor in the Order of DeMolay. I graduated from Alhambra High School in 1949 and was Class Valedictorian. I attended the University of California in Berkeley, receiving a BS in 1954 and an MS in 1955 in Mechanical Engineering. As a four-year student in ROTC, I received a commission as 2nd Lt. in the US Army Ordnance Corps and upon completion of graduate studies, entered active duty serving two years at the Aberdeen Proving Ground in Aberdeen, MD. After 16 weeks of electronics training, my primary assignment was involved with the supervision of training personnel in radar maintenance. Following discharge, I remained in the active Army Reserve for a few years, receiving a promotion to the rank of Captain.
My career was with both Shell Chemical and Shell Oil Companies retiring from Shell Oil in Martinez, CA after 34 years of service, on February 1, 1988 as Operations Superintendent. My 20 years at Martinez were preceded by assignments in West Pittsburg, CA, Los Angeles (twice), Marietta, OH, New York City and St. Helens, OR. Several of these involved working as a project manager on grass-roots construction of new chemical plants. Prior to retirement, I had been a registered professional engineer in the states of California, Ohio and West Virginia and a Registered Pressure Vessel Inspector in OH. At Martinez, my career gradually took a turn from engineering to operations management, being variously responsible for the manufacture of all oil and chemical products manufactured there. My management training at Shell had been augmented by graduate courses at MIT, the University of Michigan and UCLA.
For 12 years, as a hobby, I taught in the evening school of management at Diablo Valley College in Pleasant Hill, CA, also serving on the Engineering Technology Advisory Board there. Also, I was honored by the city of Pleasant Hill for serving on the Cluster Housing Committee, a group that created the first guidelines for planned unit development housing in that city.
Currently an inactive member of Church of the Resurrection (Episcopal) in Pleasant Hill, CA I served as a member of the Vestry there and also a Vestryman while living in OH and OR. Currently, I attend New Life Christian Fellowship (and its predecessors) on Chestnut Avenue in Concord, CA with my wife, Bernice. Formerly a member of the Industrial Association of Contra Costa County, and currently a member of the Sons in Retirement, the Shell Alumni Club, the University of California Alumni Association and the Old Alhambra Alumni.
My current primary hobby is genealogy and am proud to be a fourth generation California resident, tracing my Ralls family back in America to the very early 1700's. My Corey line was in the country as early as 1630. Other lines, with assistance from others have been traced back for nearly a thousand years.
In addition, I enjoy travelling with Bernice, for many years in our motor home and now in rented homes or cabins. Since middle school days I played trumpet in various bands, and while in college led a seven piece Dixieland group. For many years was also an avid golfer and bowler.
I share my retirement with the great love of my life, the former Bernice Ann Slater who I married in 1985. From my first marriage to the former Barbara Jane Corts (wed in 1955) I have sons Michael G Ralls of San Francisco, and Matthew F (Tina) Ralls of Concord, CA; daughters Ann E Bradley of Walnut Creek, CA and Caroline M (Barry) Whitcomb of El Dorado Hills, CA. Also have stepson Ed D (Lori) Flynton of Folsom, CA and stepdaughter Deana A (Duke) Dowell of Martinez, CA, and grandchildren Stephen and Amanda Ralls, Caelyn Bradley, Diana, Clayton and Daniel Whitcomb, Brian, Jason and Brandon Flynton, Zachary McNeill and Douglas Dowell.
Gordon and Barbara divorced in 1982. He married Bernice Ann Flynton (nee Slater) 7 Sept, 1985 in CA daughter of Joel David Slater and Jessie Ann Casto. She was born 14 Jun 1940 West Fir, OR
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On 29 Apr 2018 at 07:29 GMT Marlena (Norman) Wallace wrote:
Thank you for all your work on the tree!
On 6 Nov 2017 at 15:41 GMT Mary Richardson wrote:
I popped in to say how much we appreciate your contributions to WikiTree all of the time you have been here.
WikiTree community is continuing to grow at a rapid rate. We have more projects, categories and interest groups now. We now have groups to contact new volunteers, and volunteers who are busy but have contributed so much, such as yourself.
I hope you are well. I know I would not have survived without the Ralls Family and all of your entries.
Your contributions have stimulated the rest of us to work hard.. I just wanted to let you know your time and work here is appreciated.
Mary -WikiTree Appreciation Team
On 23 Mar 2017 at 02:06 GMT Connie (Daniels) Graves wrote:
On 20 Mar 2017 at 17:39 GMT Greg Bishop wrote:
On 10 Jan 2017 at 01:27 GMT Mary Richardson wrote:
On 13 Feb 2016 at 20:40 GMT Guy Constantineau wrote:
I see that you just did the Pre-1700 Self-Certification. That's great! Is there a particular time period, location, or topic you're interested in? Maybe you have some historically-significant ancestors?
Let me know. I can help you figure out if there's a project and introduce you to the project leaders.
Guy - Mentor & Volunteer Coordinator
On 13 Feb 2016 at 05:41 GMT Maggie N. wrote:
I see that you just did the Pre-1700 Self-Certification. That's great! Is there a particular time period, location, or topic you're interested in? Maybe you have some historically-significant ancestors? Let me know. I can help you figure out if there's a project and introduce you to the project leaders.
On 8 Nov 2015 at 22:24 GMT S (Hill) Willson wrote:
On 4 Feb 2014 at 20:12 GMT Desmon Dunn wrote:
On 4 Feb 2014 at 20:12 GMT Desmon Dunn wrote: