Ralph Ephrum Brown

Service: A Celebration of Life will be held at Anderson, Jones, Corcoran Harrisburg Funeral Chapel on Thursday, May 23, 2024, at 1:00 p.m. Family will be present for visitation one hour before the service.

Ralph Ephrum Brown, passed away on Sunday, May 12, 2024 after a 16 month battle with congestive heart failure and complications from a broken hip.
A Celebration of Life will be held at Anderson, Jones, Corcoran Harrisburg Funeral Chapel on Thursday, May 23, 2024, at 1:00 p.m. Family will be present for visitation one hour before the service. In lieu of flowers please send donations to the Sioux Falls Humane Society.
Ralph, the son of Herb and Minnie (Boe) Brown, was born December 5, 1939 at Sioux Valley hospital in Sioux Falls SD. Ralph spent his younger years in Sioux Falls and attended Mark Twain elementary. At age 10 Ralph moved to Harrisburg SD with his family. He grew up in Harrisburg, and attended the one Harrisburg school that was across the street from his house. In 1957 Ralph met Gayle, his future wife, at The Cottage in Sioux Falls where she was a car hop.
After high school, Ralph joined the SD Air National Guard (1959-1969), where he was a line mechanic and worked on F-102 jets. Ralph was united in marriage with Gayle McKillip in Sioux Falls on December 23, 1959. In 1962 Ralph and Gayle were blessed with a daughter, Cynthia Jean, and in 1965 they were blessed again with a son, David William to complete their family.
Ralph worked as a mechanic at various automotive repair shops and dealerships before he started his 32 year career at the City of Sioux Falls. Ralph worked at the city garage repairing and maintaining heavy duty equipment and police cars. In the 1980’s Ralph was transferred to the SF Police Department where he was the Police Fleet Maintenance Coordinator until his retirement in April 2001.
Ralph loved cars, and he was known for his unusual and unique paint jobs. While working full-time at the City of SF, Ralph also worked with his dad, Herb, at his shop at his home in Harrisburg where they repaired and painted all different kinds of vehicles. One of Ralph’s most beloved projects involved 3 generations. In 1983, Ralph, his son David, and his father, Herb, performed a 1950’s era full customization on the 1957 Buick Special that David purchased after graduation from high school. In 1989, Ralph purchased a 1956 Buick, which he also customized by shaving the hood and trunk, built the motor, and had tuck and roll interior installed. In December 2019 Ralph and Gayle celebrated their 60th anniversary with a family dinner at Minerva’s. Ralph was a very devoted and loving husband and father, and will be deeply missed.
Grateful for having shared his life are his daughter Cindy (Bill) Nelson, Tea, SD, and son David (Cindie) Brown, Santa Maria, CA, five sisters-in-law, Betty Best, Sioux Falls, SD, Barb (Ken) Bradfield, Sioux Falls, SD, Kathy Best, Edgerton, MO, Linda (Jim) Hanson, Sioux Falls, SD, Linda McKillip, Sioux Falls, SD, six brothers-in-law, Bill (Sharon) McKillip, Wentworth, SD, Bob McKillip, Sioux Falls SD, Mike McKillip, Sioux Falls, SD, Barry (Colleen) McKillip, Batavia, OH, Mark (Dawn) McKillip, AZ, Gary (Rikki) Jensen, Custer, SD, numerous nieces and nephews, and a host of other relatives and friends.
Ralph was preceded in death by his wife, Gayle in 2020, his infant brother Robert in 1941, his brothers-in-law Gary in 1999, Kerry in 2004, and John in 2010, and his sisters-in-law, Carolyn in 2013, and Sharon in 2020 as well as his parents Herb in 1989 and Minnie in 1995.
Ralph will be remembered for helping out anyone in need at any time. He was always someone you could count on, and he was very loyal and trust worthy. Ralph had extensive knowledge about cars and was always happy to come to someone’s aid. Even when he could no longer work on cars himself, Ralph would tell you how to repair it or even draw a picture so you could fix it.

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  1. Dwane & Cheryl on May 24, 2024 said:

    To: Cyndi & David,
    So sorry for your loss. Your Dad was a sweet, quiet man. We truly enjoyed visiting with him and your mom whenever we got a chance.
    Our thoughts and prayers go out to both of you. We hope you will find peace in during this time.
    Much love….