Cover photo for Ralph Jennings Chumley, Jr.'s Obituary
Ralph Jennings Chumley, Jr. Profile Photo
1935 Ralph 2024

Ralph Jennings Chumley, Jr.

January 4, 1935 — March 6, 2024

Bird City, Kansas

It is with deep sadness and much relief that we tell you that our dad, Ralph Jennings Chumley, Jr. passed away March 6, 2024 after a warp speed battle with cancer. 

He was admitted to the hospital in St. Francis in January with a host of issues. Among the plethora of problems, the doctors discovered he had cancer in his lungs, liver and sacrum. And it had been there for a long time.  Dad was never one for doctors. At this late stage he couldn't go home. He moved to Cheyenne County Village, a nursing home near Shirley's family. 

Thank goodness for the Statley’s, Dad’s second family after he and our mom divorced. Shirley's daughter, Carrie and her husband Milen, Carrie's son, Allen and her daughter, Amy, and Shirley's brother Allen who lives in South Dakota. They never wavered in their support and love.

Giant hugs also to our uncles, David and Paul, our dad's younger brothers who dropped everything to drive out and help with ….. some important things. Thank you both. That was a crazy day. But more than anything we’re glad you got to see Dad. It made his day seeing his brothers. 

Dad remained as humorous as ever even though his health declined at warp speed. The nurses and doctors loved him. He reminded the ones old enough to remember of Mr. Magoo without the thick coke bottle glasses. He was always polite even though the food was tasteless. Luckily he had Milen (his Kansas son) to sneak in some Pizza Hut hot wings. Dad devoured them! Again and again and again. Thank you, Milen.

I was with him for five weeks at which point he was getting weaker and weaker. He eventually pulled me aside and told me it was time for me to go home to Gary. I had done all I could for him and he appreciated it. But there was nothing else to do and it was time for me to leave. He didn't want me to watch him die. We gave each other a hug that lasted a little bit longer as we told each other, “I love you.”  Then I went home to my husband.

Ralph had two families that merged into one because our mom, Louise and our stepmom, Shirley, became good friends. Mom lived down the street from them in Bird City. Shirley would come over complaining about something Ralph had done or not done and my mom would always reply, "He's all yours." Dad loved our mom, but like a lot of marriages, when it's over it's over. He found Shirley and stayed with her for over twenty-two years until she passed away last November. She was the love of his life. They're together forever now.

Ralph is survived by his daughter, Regina and her husband Gary of Washington, his son Kevin, and partner, Erin, granddaughters Sara, Jennifer and Tina, Jennifer’s partner, Tim, great-grandchildren, Makayla, Marabelle, Mackenzie and Martial, all in Colorado, Daughter-in-law, Peggy, grandchildren, Nick, Maggie, Zach, Mike, Nicole, Jayden, Ethan, Austin and Gabe of Kansas, the Statley family, step daughter Carrie and husband Milen Malcolm, Allen Statley, Amy Thomas of Kansas, Allen Statley in South Dakota, his brothers David and Paul and their wives Linda and Carol who live in Colorado, and numerous nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by the two women in his life, Louise and Shirley, his sons, Erick and Alan, his brother Bruce, sister Pat, and his parents Ralph and Lucille.

I will come to you while you sleep.  When it’s quiet and you’re calm.  When your soul will hear and listen.  I will wrap you in my arms and you will know you are safe to leave your human shell and this world behind.  You will know that you are with me and I with you.  This is paraphrased from a booklet that Northwest Kansas Hospice gave to us. 

There will be no public services held at this time. 

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Ralph Jennings Chumley, Jr., please visit our flower store.


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