Life History of Ralph Julius Lauper

Chapter 7

Addendum (Later Years)

[Rica notes: The following is an addendum provided by mom (Jane Pace Lauper). Dad's writings were incomplete because the first attempt at recording his life history were done on a tape recorder and was too inaudible to transcribe.]

When Ralph was discharged from the Air Force his papers for his "Captaincy" apparently had been lost by the Air force (another reason he wanted out, "They made too many juvenile mistakes), so he was discharged as a First Lieutenant. However, he was talked into helping organize an Air Force Reserves Unit in Sacramento, CA about ten years later. His Captain's papers had been found and he was the Captain of the Group. When we moved he was Honorably Discharged with his rightful title of Captain Ralph J. Lauper.

Later in Life

In 1990 a plan was devised, the Van Katwyk and the Ralph J. Laupers would sell their homes then build attached houses. After searching and searching, Vacaville, CA was the city we decided would be our future home. We sold our San Ramon, CA home so fast we had to pay rent before we could get things in order to move. We stored most of our things and lived with Kevin, Rica & family in Dublin, CA for two years while building in Vacaville and then selling the Van Katwyk home in Dublin.

Ralph's sister Alice Brown died after years of suffering in January of 1993. Winifred, Serge's 2nd wife, fell and broke a hip then after many complications, died in February. Ralph was losing weight fast but wouldn't go to the doctor to find out what was wrong until it became almost a family crisis. However it wasn't until April 2nd that we found he had non-operable cancer of the Pancreas and was given only 6 months at the most to live. He passed away a week short of that.

The chemotherapy treatments Ralph took actually killed the cancer; but also his healthy cells were killed so he had no muscle or energy to give him the strength needed to fight further. I feel strongly that Ralph was able somehow to prolong his life until he saw for himself that we were moved and settled comfortably and happily in one home instead of two attached ones. He was so proud of Kevin & his ability to redesign the plans, even after the foundation had been poured.

A sort of gathering was had in Vacaville to celebrate the birthday of Lee Wright and Marcel Lauper. David, who brought his Aunt Viola with him, came up for the day to see his dad and help him before leaving town for 10 days. Dennis and Helen came with Lee and Margret Wright. Ralph was pleased with the festivities, ate a little and enjoyed visiting with family and friends. After the company was gone Rica took the first shift sitting and keeping Ralph company.

Jane rejoined them and they discussed the event of the day with Rica and Jane doing most of the talking, Ralph responding with an "Uh -huh", a grunt, a nod, a squeeze of the hand, or a smile as we talked about his big day. Very unexpectedly, just after Rica went downstairs to take her turn to rest, Ralph gave a little cough and was gone, very peacefully and apparently very happy about everything.

I am certain those on the other side were rejoicing as they greeted him.

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