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Ralph Shockley Birdsong, 84, left this world to be with the Lord on March 15, 2005, at approxi-mately 7 p.m. Ralph passed away at Skaggs Community Health Center, Branson, after battling bad health for several years and severe complication from falls in the past two months.
Ralph was born April 21, 1920, to Rev. William S. and Abbie May (Shockley) Birdsong, at Weaubleau, Mo. He graduated from Collins High School in 1939. He married Betty I. Goldsmith on Feb. 14, 1940, in Hickory County, near Collins, at the home of his parents.
In 1945 Ralph served in the U.S. Navy on the USS Thompson in the World War II conflict. He came home to his family to farm at Schell City, Mo. In 1953 Ralph and Betty moved the family of five children to Independence, both gong to work for Safeway Stores. Ralph later retired in 1981 from Cotter and Co. Ralph and Betty moved to Cedar Creek to their re-tirement home. In 1996, both un-able to care for each other, they moved to Bradleyville to live with their daughter and her husband, Glenda and Jim Day, where they both resided until their passing. Ralph enjoyed many years of happy retirement, fishing, hunting, his garden and mostly enjoying his family.
Ralph gave his heart to the Lord at the age of 15, at the Collins Church, and reaffirmed his faith in the Lord in his latter years.
Ralph was preceded in death by his wife of over 60 years, Betty, in 2000; a daughter, Judy, in 1987; a great-granddaughter, Sabrina in 1981; and his parents.
He is survived by daughters, Glenda Day and husband, Jim, of Bradleyville, and Betty “Weezie” Butler, of Dallas, Ga.; sons, Robert Birdsong and wife, Sue, Harrison, Ark., and William Birdsong, of Independence; his sister, Vera Gillespie Adcock, Humansville; his brother, Ervin Birdsong, Snoho-mish, Wash; 11 grandchildren; 22 great-grandchildren and step-grandchildren; and one great-great-grandchild; as well as other family and a host of friends.
Funeral services were held at 11 a.m. Saturday, March 19, at New Mansion General Baptist Church, Bradleyville, followed by interment in Day-Birdsong Family Cemetery, Bradleyville. Services were under the direction of Kissee-Vest Memo-rial Chapel, Forsyth.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Bradleyville Rural Fire Department.