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Old 12-09-2006, 02:42 AM   #1
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<span class="ev_code_BLUE">Ralph E. "Ralphie" Hamilton</span>
<span class="ev_code_BLUE">April 13, 1951 - August 02, 2006</span>

Also Known as "THE BOSS" (of the Florida Boomers) and "Ralphie"

Written by Janice Hamilton

Ralph was born on Friday, April 13, 1951, the second of ten children in Birmingham, AL. Contrary to popular belief, Ralph always considered Friday the 13th his lucky day!

He dropped out of school at sixteen to help support his family, by working at a local grocery store. It wasn't uncommon for him to work "off the clock" without the benefit of pay, in order to help his boss get things done.

He joined the Navy at the age of eighteen to see the world, but sent his salary home to help out his Mom and Dad. Once, while on a Mediterranean cruise, he was dared to enter a rodeo. (Keep in mind that Ralph had never even seen a bull before). He ended up in the hospital after the bull did a tap dance on his ear!

In 1970, he was shipped to Newport, R.I. where he met his SOULMATE, (That would be me!) Janice, affectionately knick-named "Weezie". I consider February 12, 1971 to be my "lucky" day! We had a whirlwind romance and were married in November of that same year. God would later bless us with our two children, Teri and Kevin.

Through the encouragement of Paul, our brother-in-law and best friend, Ralph learned the trade of lock-smithing. He became a great "safecracker" (which was his iRV2 handle) and worked for Diebold Corporation for eleven years. In 1987 we moved our family to sunny Florida.

Ralph always said that he wanted to enjoy life before retirement. Maybe he knew that the Lord would take him home before he would ever reach retirement age. We bought a small locksmith business in 1989 and built it into a very profitable corporation. For a guy who had to quit school at the age of sixteen and always considered himself uneducated, I'd say that Ralph Hamilton did okay for himself.

Our son Kevin came on board after high school and Ralph showed him the ropes. As Kevin became more experienced, we were able to take more time off. Ralph's friend Lewis Mann, a fellow camper, found the iRV2 website and posted that we were looking for people in our age bracket in Florida who'd like to meet up and camp together. We immediately met some great friends and named our group "The Florida Boomers"!!! We had a ball camping and meeting up with friends old and new, whom we met through iRV2. Ralph was a real presence on the site and you never knew what he would come out with next. Of course everything was turned up a notch when Cheri Cooke found us. Many of you may remember "The Ralph and Cheri Show".

We originally started out with a small Fifth Wheel, then progressed to a larger Fifth Wheel, and finally to a thirty eight-foot Safari Cheetah Motorhome in May of 2004. We were able to take one long trip and some weekend trips with our Boomer friends before we received the cancer diagnosis in September of 2004. Needless to say, our lives changed dramatically after that and Ralph wasn't able to drive the Motorhome again since the cancer had already entered his brain.

We were overwhelmed and grateful for the love, support, posts, phone calls and cards received from the Boomers, both from Florida and all around the country. That kindness comforted us and boosted Ralph's morale during that very long and brave fight.

Ralph went to be with his Lord on August 2, 2006 at the age of fifty-five.
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Old 12-21-2006, 04:58 AM   #2
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<span class="ev_code_RED">Original post made August 02, 2006 at 02:16 pm</span>

Hello "Florida Boomers" and other iRV2 Members,

With deep regrets, Cheri Cooke "Cookestwo" on iRV2, has notified me of the passing of Ralph Hamilton, the founder of the Florida Boomers and our long time member. Ralph, who was known to us here at iRV2 as "Safcrkr", passed away this morning at 11:20 after a long battle with cancer.

We will miss him much and our deepest and heartfelt sympathies are extended to his family and friends.

Cheri has asked for the posting of the following tribute to Ralpie, it's my honor to be called upon to place the post:

The "BOSS" Home

It is with a broken heart that I am sharing the very sad news, of the loss of our dear friend and "brother", Ralphie. He passed away at 11:20 this morning, with his precious Weezie and family by his side.

Such a bitter sweet moment, knowing that Ralph is now walking and dancing with the Lord, just like David did in the Old Testament. We are rejoicing that he is finally "home" even though we are all left with a Ralph-shaped hole in our hearts.

To all you RV'ers out there, you know how much Ralphie loved camping with the Boomers and keeping in touch with them through the website. His second to the last posting count was 2240 but I know he would want credit for his last posting under Janet's login which brought his final total to 2241. I don't think there will ever be a doubt in anyone's mind, that Ralphie was the BOSS of the FLORIDA BOOMERS!

Ron and I first met Ralph and Janice (aka Bubba and Weezie), at a Florida Boomers RV Rally 3 years ago. Who could have known then, how much we would come to love them and what a short time we would have with Ralph, this side of Heaven. Many of you have heard me say that Janice has been like a sister to me and Ralph, like the brother I never had.

Over the years, Ralph referred to me as, "Missy". I'm not sure why, but the name stuck and soon I was referring to myself as "Missy"also.

Looking back on the relationship I had with Ralphie brings a smile to my face and laughter to my soul. He teased me unmercifully, so much so, that many folks thought we had been married and divorced. That could have been because Ralph referred to me as his "ex". When he and Janice first met with their Oncologist, his sister, daughter, Janice and I were all present. Ralph introduced all of us leaving me until last, and once again, introduced me as his "ex". I can only imagine what his doctor thought about his ex-wife being there. I was thinking what an honor it has been to call both he and Janice, "Friends" but I think the greatest honor occurred last year when he named his little dachshund, "Missy".

On July 20th, Janice called to tell me that Ralph was very weak and probably didn't have much time left with us. We talked, reminisced and cried, while reliving many of his antics. Part way through our conversation, Ralph awoke from his rest, and Janice asked if I would like to speak to him. It took, me a couple of minutes to regain my composure and while Janice held the phone next to his ear, I told Ralphie how much we loved him and about all the joy he brought to our lives. I told him we would take good care of Weezie and finally, that if he got to Heaven before me, to please save me a place. In his sweet but very frail voice, he said, "You'll be old and wrinkled by then!" Through all the pain and suffering, he still had his wonderful sense of humor.

We miss you, Little Buddy.


Funeral Arrangements will be posted as soon as they are known.

Mrs. Janice Hamilton
12217 NW 8th Place
Newberry, FL 32669
added on edit:
Originally posted by Cookestwo:
Friday, August 4th at 6:00pm
Williams-Thomas Funeral Home
823 NW 143rd Street
Newberry, FL

Saturday, August 5th at 11:00am
Family Church
2022 SW 122nd St.
Gainesville, FL
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Old 01-03-2007, 04:29 PM   #3
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My thoughts are with you and your family during this difficult time.
Lenny and Chrissy

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Old 01-03-2007, 04:29 PM   #4
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Linda and I just want to send a last email to you. The first Boomer rally that we attended, you and Jan invited us to lunch in the little town nearby. We had a simple cafe lunch, while chatting and joking about rallys, R.V.s, and life in general.

Your graciousness, and heartfelt kindness to two total strangers impressed us. To this day it warms my heart that you and Jan were so open to friendship to any and all who came into your lives. You truly wanted to make us feel welcome in the Boomer group. It touches my heart, when I realize how rare an act this is becoming in our day and age. Thank you for sharing life with us.

Linda and I will celebrate your memory, everytime we gather with friends around a campfire, by retelling the adventures and misadventures that we experienced together.

Vaya Con Dios, Ralphie.


Linda and I send our deepest regards to you and your family. I know you will find some solace in the amazing impact that Ralphie has had on all our lives. Some men pass through life. Some men affect life. Some men are life. Ralphie was one such, and lived his to the fullest. I know that his only concern is of you and for you.

Please accept our love and support.

With deepest regards,

Verne and Linda McCarthy
'03 Adventurer 35u, Workhorse 22, 8.1 Vortec, Allison Tranny, '00 Honda Insight Toad (Electric/gas hybred) '04 Honda Goldwing ABS

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Old 01-03-2007, 04:29 PM   #5
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We never had the honor of meeting Ralphie but I have read many of his posts here. Clearly he was a wonderful person and our deepest sympathy goes to his wife, Janice and their family (including Missy). He obviously had a strong constitution as I have read here his long battle with cancer. He really hung in there. Our thoughts are with you.
Lynn & George
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Old 01-03-2007, 04:29 PM   #6
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One of the friendliest people I have met. He and his wonderful wife included us in two of your rally's, as guests, but we never felt like guests, but friends. Our deepest sympathy to his family.
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Old 01-03-2007, 04:29 PM   #7
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Our sincerest thoughts and prayers go out to Ralphie's family and friends. I was only with Ralphie at one rally in Florida and I found him to be one of those people that you like immediately. One of the first things he said was that he was glad I was there to take some of "Missy's" heat, I can picture him standing there by his rig stating that. In great sorrow, Bud and Ruth

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Old 01-03-2007, 04:29 PM   #8
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We are saddened to hear of Ralphie's passing -- we have missed him at the Boomer Rallies. It just wasn't the same without the "Boss." He put up a brave fight against the big "C" which was just another example of his fine character.
Our hearts go out to Jan and his children - our prayers are with you.
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Old 01-03-2007, 04:29 PM   #9
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One of the friendliest people we have met. He and his wonderful wife treat everyone as family so when we say, our sincere thoughts & prayers to Ralphie`s Family we mean to all of us. He will be missed and remembered forever as the "BOSS". Go in peace and love and may you start a new camping group in heaven, while you wait for the rest of us.
Happy Trails to you and yours

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Old 01-03-2007, 04:29 PM   #10
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Hi Janice,
We did not meet yall, but we read a lot of the post that you and Ralph did. We are thinking of you.
Jim and Sandy Jessup
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Old 01-03-2007, 04:29 PM   #11
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I am so sorry to hear about Ralphie. We had been on the road and had to come back because my mothe rhad a heart attack on Labor Day. Life had been very busy but we will always remember Ralphie's humor and making the rallies interesting. Please tell Weezie we love her.
Joe and Isabel Clayton
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Old 01-03-2007, 04:29 PM   #12
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Our deepest sympathy to Janice and her family. Ralphie will always be remembered as the heart and soul of the Florida Boomers. His life was an example of how to live to the fullest and respect everyone and everything around you.
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Old 01-03-2007, 04:29 PM   #13
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Even though I never had the honor of meeting Ralphie, I have read many of his posts here. Clearly he was a wonderful person and our deepest sympathy goes out to all those who were lucky enough to have known, camped and loved him.

May God Bless and welcome Ralphie, and watch over his family & friends!!
AL, & Mickey "The Boston"! Silver Springs, FL Camping since 1967 and RVing since 1990! A 2021 Entegra Vision 29F & 2013 Yamaha V-Star 1300 Tour Delux WATCH FOR MOTORCYCLE
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Old 01-03-2007, 04:29 PM   #14
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Our most sincere condolences to Janice,family and friends. It was always a pleasure camping with Ralph and Janice.

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