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Date of Birth: June 04, 1930

Date of Death: July 11, 2022

Ralph Edward Black, “REB”, 92, passed away peacefully on July 11, 2022 in Glendale, Arizona. Born June 4, 1930 in Chicago, Illinois, he graduated from A.G. Lane Tech High School in 1948. He was captain of the wrestling team at Wright Junior College and a Chicago Park District’s wrestling champion. Ralph went on to wrestle and play football on scholarships at Beloit College, Wisconsin and University of Washington, eventually graduating from UW in 1956 with a Master’s in Geography. He was very proud of his thesis, a detailed map of the state of Washington. In 1956 Ralph enlisted in the Army and learned French at the Defense Language Institute in Monterey, California. While stationed in Bordeaux, France, with Army Intelligence for a couple years, he met his wife, Mariette. They were married in France in August of 1959 and Ralph accepted a job with Chevron in San Francisco, CA in December of the same year. He later transferred to Geneva, Switzerland to work in Chevron’s Chemical International office as an assistant manager; Ralph and Mariette had their two children, Caroline and Eric, there in 1962 and 1964. The family returned to California in 1969 where Ralph continued working with Chevron another seventeen years, traveling to the Middle East, Southeast Asia and South America, until his early retirement in 1986. After his retirement, Ralph followed his son’s lead and took up training for triathlons, completing Ironman Canada in 1995. A couple of years after Mariette’s death, he took up ballroom dancing, where he eventually met his second wife, Emma. After their divorce, at the encouragement of his daughter, Ralph moved to Sun City, AZ, where, in his eighties, he was very active swimming, fitness training, dancing and making friends at the Bell Recreation Center. In 2017, he was delighted to be chosen to dance the mambo in Sun City’s Dancing with the Stars. Ralph is preceded in death by his sister, Lorraine Warak, his brother, Thomas Black and his wife, Mariette Black. He is survived by his daughter, Caroline Harben of Oregon, his son, Eric Black of Colorado, his ex-wife, Emma Blandon of California, and seven adult nieces and nephews of Illinois and California. His ashes will be scattered in the mountains he so loved.

Service Information

A private online memorial service is planned for a later date.


Family is very grateful for the services provided by Hospice of the Valley over the last three months and requests donations be made to them in Ralph's honor, in lieu of flowers.