Obituary of Ralph Arley Schilling, Jr.
Ralph Arley Schilling, Jr, went to be with his Lord & Savior on Monday, January 15th, 2024. A dear friend wrote, “What a wonderful life he lived. Absent from the body, at home with the Lord”. He passed peacefully, as family surrounded him singing hymns and praying. He was able to see the Texas Rangers win the World Series, reach “100”, but gave up on the Cowboys after losing in the playoffs, again.
A Celebration of Life will be held on Sunday, February 4, 2024 at 1:00 pm, at Bridgewood Church of Christ, 6516 Brentwood Stair Road, Fort Worth, Texas 76112.
Ralph was born on October 30, 1923 to Ralph and Lorena Schilling in Austin, Texas. He had shared that he was named after his father, whom he considered a good, Christian man. He also shared that if he had a nickname, it would be “Shorty” because of his short stature, but it was always used in love and respect. Ralph grew up in Austin and went to Filmore Elementary from 1st to 3rd grades. The family moved to Fort Worth during the depression so his Dad could find work with the U.S. Postal Service. They moved to Ave. L where he continued his education and graduated from Polytechnic High School and Bradley Business College. During Ralph’s teen years, he delivered sodas & drug prescriptions by bicycle around the TCU area as well as was the batboy for TCU baseball. Dad said, “was the best period of his life compared to the Depression.”
Ralph began working for Santa Fe Railroad in 1942 as a Radio and Train Dispatcher. He would use that brief experience and decided to volunteer / enlist in the United States Navy during World War II where he served in the South Pacific as a Radioman, Second Class. Ralph received the “Victory Medal”, “American Campaign Medal”, Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal with 1 Star”, and “Navy Good Conduct Medal”. He proudly wore his WWII Navy Veteran hat to many events, including numerous Military Band concerts and multiple annual State Fair of Texas.
After his discharge, Ralph returned to Fort Worth and continued his career with Sante Fe Railroad for over 40 more years, retiring in late 1986. Working at the railroad is where he met and married Regina Ann Naham. After several years, they welcomed two daughters (Susan Ann and Barbara Ann) a year apart. The family enjoyed taking train trips, which included bowling tournaments for the parents and vacations. They spent many hours taking the girls to their various sporting activities (tennis and ice skating). After Regina passed away in 1979, Ralph never remarried, stating that she was his “Only Angel.”
Ralph was a daily bible reader and faithfully attended bible class / worship service all his life, sharing that he could not imagine how life would be without his faith and church. He was baptized at age 17 at the Polytechnic Church of Christ. His family were charter members of Brentwood Church of Christ (now Bridgewood Church of Christ). He served as a deacon, treasurer, and volunteered many hours/years of landscaping services at the building. Ralph and Regina were part of the “Gang” (multiple couples at Brentwood raising families, playing dominoes, and sharing life and faith experiences together). Ralph & Regina hosted many New Year’s parties at their home.
Ralph loved his numerous dogs over the years, which gave him companionship and kept him active, walking the dogs miles daily through the neighborhood. He also loved sports, especially baseball because he could teach / play with his grandsons. He spent hours & miles attending most of the grandsons’ sporting events from 3 year-old soccer to H.S graduation.
Ralph was a “Hero” to his family and many others and was truly part of the ‘Greatest Generation.” He was a great Christian example and was instrumental in providing daily Christian faith / guidance / instruction / wisdom. His impact on everyone will never be forgotten, as it has and will continue to change lives forever.
Ralph was preceded in death by his parents, his wife, and brother, Roy Schilling. He is survived by daughters Susan Watson (Timothy) and Barbara Schneweis (Daniel), grandsons Barrett Watson, Hunter Watson (Kelcie), Tim Lewis (Reagan), great granddaughters Tatum and Teagan Watson, as well as nephews and nieces Ken Schilling, Pam Missimer, Paul Mascorro, MaryAnn Sligh, and Gini Mascorro.
In lieu of flowers, the family has requested Donations be made to the following:
Fort Worth Christian School, 6200 Holiday Lane, North Richland Hills, TX 76180
Bridgewood Church of Christ, 6516 Brentwood Stair Rd., Fort Worth, TX 76112
Canine Companions for Independence, P.O. Box 446, Santa Rosa, CA 95402-0446