Ralph Gardner Goates, M. D., 92
It is with gratitude for his life and sorrow at his death that the family of Ralph Gardner Goates announce his death Saturday, March 30, 2013 at Portneuf Medical Center in Pocatello, from causes consistent with his age of 92 years.
Ralph was born at Lehi, Utah, on Aug. 10, 1920, the oldest child and only son of Virgil and Viola Gardner Goates. The family lived in Lehi until he was four years of age at which time his father, who was employed by Utah-Idaho Sugar was transferred to the West Jordan, Utah factory. He attended grade school and junior high school there and high school at Jordan High School in Sandy, Utah, where he graduated at the age of 16.
He then attended Brigham Young University for two years while working at the sugar factory during the fall “campaign”. His family moved to Blackfoot where he lived for a few months before leaving for a mission from the Blackfoot Second Ward. He served for two years in the New England Mission.
Then while in his second year at BYU, he met Katherine “Kay” Llewellyn who quickly became his Canadian sweetheart. Military service, mission, distance and lack of money kept them apart and they conducted a paper romance for several years, rarely being together. Kay came from Lethbridge, Alberta, her family home to be with Ralph for a few days before he had to report for assignment. Following their time together she accepted his proposal and they were married three days later in the Salt Lake LDS Temple, April 1, 1943.
After nearly four years in the service Ralph enrolled at the University of Utah and continued his pre-medical course after which he was accepted at the Medical College there. Graduation was in June 1950, two months prior to his 30th birthday. He was fortunate to obtain an internship at Walter Reed Army Hospital in Washington D.C. where he was a commissioned medical officer.
Near the end of his year in Washington he made contact with Doctors Dean and Merrill Packer in Blackfoot and joined their practice in 1951. They subsequently formed the Blackfoot Medical Clinic where he practiced until his retirement in 1986. His practice was busy and satisfying and his contact with thousands of patients was a source of permanent happiness to him. He enjoyed aspects of his practice from caring for families to seeing old and young and especially enjoyed his obstetric patients and the newborns. He delivered over 3,000 babies in the course of his family practice.
Ralph and Kay have been lifelong active members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Survivors are his sons, Brian Ralph of Blackfoot; Blair Galen of Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada; his daughter, Lisa Kay (Edward) Jones of Pocatello; seven grandchildren and 13 great- grandchildren.
He was preceded in death by his wife, Katherine; son, Gregory Llewellyn Goates; his parents; three sisters, Rhoda May (Paul) Jeppson, Viola Jean (Gregg) Snow and Virgie (Walter) Snow.
A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. Wednesday, April 3, 2013 at the Blackfoot Sixth Ward LDS Chapel, 660 Teton, Blackfoot. The family will meet with friends for one hour prior to service at the church. Interment will be in the Grove City Cemetery. Condolences may be sent to the family at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Military rites will be presented by the American Legion Stewart Hoover Post #23.
We would like to thank the many doctors that have seen Dad over the last few months and the staff of Portneuf Medical Center for the wonderful care they provided for him, and especially Dr. Allen, whose kind and compassionate care was greatly appreciated by our family.
In lieu of flowers please send memorial contributions in his name to Huntsman Cancer Institute in Salt Lake City, Utah.