Ralph Sickles

January 01, 1946 ‒ May 03, 2017

Bellville, Ohio

BELLVILLE: Ralph E. Sickles, 71, of Bellville passed away unexpectedly of an apparent heart attack while working near Olympia, Washington.

The son of Jack and Helen (Mowry) Sickles, Ralph was born January 1, 1946 in Bellefontaine, Ohio and was graduated from Bellefontaine High School in 1964.

Hard working, Ralph was a railroad conductor for 42 years, retiring from CSX.  He continued working part time as a contracted flagman for NRSS.

He was a Mason and enjoyed antique cars and going to local car shows.  Ralph loved playing cards especially euchre, picking berries, asparagus, grilling, canning and baking pies, as well as woodworking.

He is survived by his wife of 52 years, Vera Sickles of Bellville; children Scott Sickles of Mansfield, Terri (Russ) Howell of Westerville, Lee (Alex) Sickles of Bellville, and Susan Sickles of Columbus; grandchildren Eric, Joshua, Emily, Elijah, Isaiah, Peyton, Brooklyn, and one on the way – Jackson; sister Phyllis Sickles of Tucson, Arizona, numerous nieces, nephews, cousins, and extended family.

He was preceded in death by his parents and brother Fred Sickles of Huntsville.

A memorial gathering will be in the Bellville Snyder Funeral Home.   His family will receive friends Thursday, May 11, 2017 at the funeral home from 5-7 pm.  A graveside service will be at 11am, Friday in Highland Memorial Cemetery in West Liberty, Ohio.

In lieu of flowers memorial contributions to Hospice of North Central Ohio may be made through the funeral home.

Online condolences to the family may be made by visiting:SnyderFuneralHomes.com


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  • My Sweet Vera,
    Please know you’ve been in my thoughts and prayers. I know Dad was there to greet his old friend, thanking him (and you) for being there when he left this earth. Friendship that lasts a lifetime is a beautiful thing…..
    All My Love,

  • So sorry for you Vera. Ralph and I keep in touch for years trying to remember the good days on the railroad. I am sure going to miss him. My prayers are with you and your family. If you are ever in need of anything, I am always available.

    • Thank you John, you know you were a dear friend to him and how much he loved being a railroader.

  • Dear Vera and family,
    Wishing you much comfort and love during this very difficult time. Our family always loved visiting your family and remember how kind you and Mr. Sickles were. Mr. Sickles will always be remembered as a very kind giving man.

    Sylvie Knick

  • Dear Vera and Family so sorry to hear about Ralph’s passing I feel your pain and know how very hard this will be for you my Condolence’s to you and all your family

    • Thanks Janet, know you have experienced this part of life already, losing him and can truly sympathize with me.

  • Dear Vera and family,
    We send our love and prayers for comfort to you and family remembering our friend Ralph
    as a kind fun loving and generous man. Please know you are in our thoughts and we cherish the memories of the times we had together.

    Larry and Regine Knick

  • To Vera and family: What a shock, loved playing cards with him and doesn’t seem like it was just a few weeks that I had played with him on a Thursday at Bellville! He was such a pleasant guy and I will certainly miss him. Always had a hug and something nice to say. He was one wonderful guy and we all at the card party extend our deepest sympathy. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.

    • Marilyn, he loved you guys in his card playing groups and often talk about you. You all made his semi-retirement so special. Thanks for being a friend.

  • I met Ralph while taking my Grandpa, Benn Eyster, to play euchre at the Legion. Such a nice man. Very friendly and welcoming. Sorry for your loss.

    • I’ve heard your grandpa’s name many times. Thank you for your response and kind words.
      Vera sickles

  • Vera and family,
    On behalf of everyone on the project team in Olympia, WA, we send our heartfelt condolences and sympathy for your loss.

    • Thank you so much. Great kindness has come out of the state of WA from not only you but the motel and coroners office as well.
      Vera Sickles

  • Vera, I can remember when Ralph sat in front of me in Mr. Hurley Math class. He was such a clown, and I was his friend all thru school. I do believe that you sat in front of Ralph in that class. also.

    Second Corinthians 5:8 “Yes, we are of good courage, and we would rather be away from the body and at home with the Lord.”

    Our Prayers are with you, Vera and Family

    • He was a clown alright! And was ornery to the end! I will miss him terribly.

  • Vera, although we have never met, I worked with Ralph as train dispatcher when we both worked for Conrail. He was conductor on the Galion local that serviced rail customers between Marion and Wellington Ohio. He was always a pleasure to work with. He may have mentioned my name as “Stormin Norman”, a handle I picked up while working as a train dispatcher. I know of at least two occasions that I rode with him and what a funny guy he was to work with. He could always come up with a hilarious experience while working at various locations. You have my deepest sympathy for your loss.

  • Vera, I had the pleasure of working with Ralph when he was conductor on the Galion local when we both worked for Conrail. He was a great guy to work with and could always tell a funny story about work. He may have mentioned working with a dispatcher “Stormin Norman”, a handle I got before I retired. I did ride with him on at least 2 occasions while servicing local customers between Marion and Wellington, Ohio. You have my deepest sympathy for your loss.

  • Vera and family,
    On behalf of everyone here at the Ohio Central Railroad, Youngstown Division, we send our heartfelt condolences and sympathy for your loss. Ralph worked here in Youngstown from time to time on various flagging projects and he was well respected and liked for his professionalism at his job and his humor too! He will be missed.

    • Thank you for your kind words. He so enjoyed his job there as well as around the other sites. Even though he retired ten years ago, he just couldn’t give it up.

      Vera sickles

  • Dear Vera,

    I was so very sorry to hear about Ralph. He was a great guy and will be missed by all of us who grew up with you both. I will keep you in my thoughts. This must be so hard on you and your family. Blessings to you!! Love, Marilyn Tanger Case

  • Dear Vera,
    I’m so sorry for your loss and everyone from the restaurant sends their regards. He made a great impact in all our lives and will be missed dearly. I know he’s in gods grace now enjoying tórillas with my mother.

    • Olivia and the rest of our Mexican family, you know how much that man loved all of you for it showed every time we came up there. You all were so special to him. He would tell everyone of his trip to Mexico and how well he was treated by all. A priceless time for him.
      See you soon, vera

  • Vera,
    Nora and I are very saddened by this “life event.” We feel privileged to have spent
    several wonderful times with you and Ralph. You are both wonderful people and
    though we are not around as often anymore, we are here for you whenever you want.

    Love and prayers,

  • Dear Vera and Family ~

    Bill and I are very sorry to hear of Ralph’s passing. We have such fond memories of the times we spent with him and know he will be sorely missed. We are holding you and the whole family close to our hearts and sending prayers for comfort and peace for you all.

    Karey and Bill

  • We want to extend our deepest sympanthy to the Sickles family.
    Ralph was such a blessing to have known and touched our lives more than anyone will know. I am so grateful that my wife and I were able to share precious moments with him and Vera over the recent years. There has been such a void created in our lives that can not be filled. We will miss him.

    Dave and Jennifer

  • Dear Vera: We are so sorry to hear of Ralph’s passing. I remember the time when our kids were small we all came to your house, I believe for a CSX get together. The kiddos swam and Ralph grilled. We had such a good time!
    Praying God comforts you at this time.

    With Deepest Sympathy,
    Wayne and Suzie Linkinhoker

  • Dear Vera and family;

    We are so sorry that Ralph passed away so suddenly and so far from home. Ralph was always wanting a new adventure and was excited when the opportunity arose to spend a couple weeks in Washington. Ralph was always there for us when we needed him to cover a project. I know he enjoyed the work very much. Ralph always had a “bigger than life” presence when in the office or on a jobsite. He was always very serious about the role he played providing safety to the contractors he was protecting and always kept his sense of humor. Ralph just wasn’t an employee, he was our friend. We will truly miss him.

    Tim & Debby

  • Dear Vera ,
    I give to you my most heartfelt condolences. Ralph was definitely a one of a kind. You never had to guess what he was thinking. Always good for a ” hello Mr. ” when our paths would cross . In our business our paths do not cross many times. But when they would , you know you’d get a good laugh from Ralph . He’ll truly be missed around the company.
    Prayers of comfort for you Vera .
    Rest easy Ralph ,till we meet again behind the gates of Heaven.
    Brian Shepherd

  • Vera: We’re so sorry to hear about Ralph. The times we spent in his company were fun and warm and showed the soul of a good person. We’ll miss him. Please know you’re in our thoughts.

  • Dear Vera,
    We would like to extend our most heartfelt sympathy to you and your family, and we want you to know that we are keeping you all close in our thoughts.
    Love, Patty and LeRoy

  • Dear Vera,
    Ralph had to be one of the sweetest people I have met. I enjoyed him the times we got together in Ohio and North Carolina.
    You are in our prayers.
    Missing you,
    Jeannette & Bill