ELWOOD – Ralph S. Yarling, age 103, and a lifelong resident of Elwood and Tipton County, passed away peacefully on Wednesday, Nov. 25, 2020, at Elwood Health and Living after a long, full life.
He was born in Tipton County on July 18, 1917, the son of Faulta and Lucile (Starkey) Yarling. Ralph grew up in a family farming operation and loved being raised in a country setting.
He was a 1935 graduate of Elwood High School and later attended Purdue University for agriculture studies. He married his soulmate, Lois N. Sizer, on Feb. 12, 1942, and they shared more than 63 years of marriage together before her passing in 2005.
Ralph farmed nearly all his life with Yarling Hillside Farms, a generational farm in Tipton County, working in both grain farming and feeder pig livestock. Ralph was especially well-known for raising and maintaining beautiful Belgium horses for many years. His horses and unique yellow wagon were a much anticipated staple of local parades in the community each year.
Ralph was a member of East Main Street Christian Church, Elwood Elks, Elwood Lions Club, Quincy Masonic Lodge, Scottish Rite and the Shriners. He supported the Madison County 4-H program for many years with his grandchildren. Ralph was a former member of the Elwood Country Club and enjoyed bowling earlier in his life. He was also formerly a licensed pilot and owned a plane as a member of the “Flying Farmers” flying club. Ralph especially enjoyed socializing with his buddies at the Airport Restaurant in Elwood nearly every day. As one of Elwood’s oldest residents, Ralph was honored by the mayor that July 18, 2020 was proclaimed to be “Ralph Yarling Day.”
He loved his family very much and he will be remembered as a man of outstanding character who had a great sense of humor.
Ralph’s family legacy includes two daughters, Carol Craig of St. George, Utah and Cathy (husband Doug) Drake of Frankton; four grandchildren, Mark Drake of Frankton, Amanda (Justin) Bousman of Frankton, Jana Craig of Noblesville and Jerrod Craig of Indianapolis; and seven great-grandchildren, Kamon, Gene’, Ariyal, Wyatt, Skyler, Ryan and Dayton.
Ralph was preceded in death by both his parents; wife, Lois Yarling; sister, Kathleen Messick; and brother, Meredith Yarling.
For health precautions of his family, a private life celebration funeral service will be at the Elwood City Cemetery Mausoleum chapel with the Rev. Roger Gardner of East Main Street Christian Church officiating. His service will be available for viewing online at copherfeslermay.com linked to Ralph’s obituary page later in the week. There will be no public visitation.
Entombment will follow the service inside the Elwood Mausoleum next to his wife.
Ralph’s arrangements have been entrusted to Copher-Fesler-May Funeral Home in Elwood.
Memorial contributions are suggested to the Madison County 4-H Association, East Main Street Christian Church or the Elwood Health & Living (assisted facility) through the funeral home – P.O. Box 20, Elwood, IN 46036.
Online condolences and memories may be expressed at copherfeslermay.com.