Mr. Ralph Yelton

July 17, 1926 ~ February 8, 2015

Born in: Mitchell County, NC
Resided in: Mountain Home, TN

Ralph Yelton, age 88, graduated from his earthly home to his heavenly home, Sunday, February 8, 2015 at the Veterans Administration Hospital. He was born July 17, 1926 in Mitchell County, North Carolina to the late James Monroe Yelton, Sr. and Mae Hill Yelton. In 1954, he moved to Tennessee and resided in the Kingsport area until he became a resident of the VA Nursing Facility in 2012. In addition to his parents, his brother, James Yelton, his grandson, Christian Kasper, and his son-in-law, Gunter Kasper preceded him in death. His daughter Sylvia Kasper, his son, Charles Yelton, and his grandchildren survive him. Othersurvivors include sisters Virginia Randolph, Mildred Yelton, Doris Whitson, and brother Roy and wife Pat Yelton. At the age of 17, he enlisted in the US Army to fight in World War II. He served in the European Theatre where he earned the Bronze Star, Purple Heart, and the Silver Star. Ralph returned home after the war to work at Great Lake Steel in Detroit. He was re-called to the Army during the Korean Conflict. In 1951, Ralph was hit in the spine by a fifty-caliber machine gun a few days before he was to be discharged. The medical team told him he would be fortunate to live ten years andwould be confined to a gurney for what remained of his life. Ralph decided that being a paraplegic would not hinder the goals he set for himself. With determination, grit, and an ?I won?t give-up" attitude, Ralph earned a GED, a B.S. in Accounting at East Tennessee State University, and started his own accounting business after being injured. For his service in the Korean Conflict, he earned an additional Purple Heart. Ralph loved his country, his community, and his state. He felt that the people of the Third Legislative District deserved someone who would truly represent them. He decided to run for State Representative. He was elected to and served fourteen years in the Tennessee State Legislature. Ralph was active in several civic organizations. He was a member of Oakland Avenue Baptist Church. The family will receive friends Tuesday, February 10 from 5:30 until time of the service. The memorial service will follow at 8:00 with Pastor Roy Yelton and Evangelist Toonie Cash officiating. Interment will be at 11:00 Wednesday, February 11 at Roselawn Memory Garden. Those attending the graveside are asked to meet at the funeral home to leave in procession at 10:30. Pallbearers are Todd, Matt, and Jeremy Yelton, Louis Thorpe, Teddy Wise, and Dana Buchanan. The family wishes to give a special thanks to the nurses and staff on the second floor of the VA Nursing Facility for all their love and care of Ralph. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Oakland Avenue Baptist Church, 2823 E. Oakland Avenue, Johnson City, TN 37601 Memories and condolences may be made via: Morris-Baker Funeral Home and Cremation Services is serving the Yelton family, 2001 E. Oakland Avenue, Johnson City, TN 37601. (423) 282-1521

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