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James Ralph Wilcher, best known as “Ralph”, passed away peacefully on Wednesday, the 20th day of December 2023, surrounded by his loving family. He was 87 years of age when the Lord called him home. Mr. Wilcher was born on the 10th day of August 1936, in Tira, Texas, to parents James Albert Wilcher and Lilly Lucille Horn Wilcher.
Mr. Wilcher took great pride in his thirty-two and half year career as a courageous Dallas Fireman, a role through which he touched many lives with his bravery and selflessness. His work ethic was unparalleled; he was a man who truly enjoyed working. Not one to sit idle, he often held multiple jobs at once, showcasing his diverse skills and dedication. Among his various roles, he served at A.C. Andrews Safe and Lock and was a bonded locksmith, a trade that he mastered with precision and care. His entrepreneurial spirit led him to own and operate R & W Locksmith, where his reputation for reliability and expertise only grew.
His commitment to helping others extended beyond his professional life as he was also a devoted member of the Concord Baptist Church, where his presence will be deeply missed. Family was the cornerstone of Mr. Wilcher's life. He was a patriarch who led with love and generosity, always ensuring that his loved ones were provided for and supported. His hands, ever busy, were not only skilled in his trade but were also a source of comfort and strength to his family.
An avid gun collector, Mr. Wilcher found joy in the meticulous care and knowledge of his hobby. His enthusiasm for hunting was more than a pastime; it was a way to connect with nature and the simplicity of the outdoors. He also enjoyed reading and would often fall asleep reading a good book. Along with his favorite books, Mr. Wilcher found pleasure reading topics on history, western, and World War II.
Those who knew Mr. Wilcher will remember him as loving, handy, and generous. Mr. Wilcher's life was a tapestry woven with the threads of hard work, dedication, and an abundance of love—a tapestry that will continue to provide warmth and comfort to all who were fortunate enough to be a part of his life.
He is preceded in death by his parents, James and Lilly Lucille Wilcher; son, Timothy Norman Wilcher; sisters, Shirley Rogers, and Sandra Ellison, and his brother, Gerald “Jerry” Wilcher.
His memory will continue to inspire those who knew him to live with the same integrity and love that he exemplified every day. Mr. Wilcher's story will be told for generations, a lasting tribute to a man who was truly one of a kind. Left to tell his story, are his loving wife of forty-eight years, Jewel Wilcher; daughters, Cindie Dudley Wilcher, Crystal Wilcher, and Madison Carnes and husband Luke; grandchildren, James Colton Wilcher and Haley Griggs, and Taylor Wilcher and wife Jessica. He also leaves behind three great-grandchildren, Nora Wilcher, Griffin Wilcher, and Oakley Lillirae Wilcher, along with numerous nieces, nephews, other family members and friends.
Friends are invited to a visitation with the family from six o’clock until eight o’clock in the evening on Wednesday, the 27th day of December 2023 at Rhone Funeral Home.
A funeral service to celebrate Mr. Wilcher’s life is to be conducted at one o’clock in the afternoon on Thursday, the 28th day of December 2023 in the Rhone Memorial Chapel. Bro. Mark Rogers will officiate the service. Interment will follow in Liberty Cemetery.
Those honored to serve as pallbearers are Alan Wilcher, Wendell Wilcher, James C. Wilcher, Stephen Smith, Luke Carnes, John Brown, and Paul Wilcher.
In lieu of customary remembrances, memorial contributions in memory of Mr. Wilcher can be directed towards American Cancer Society, P.O. Box 22478, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 73123 or The Alzheimer’s Association, Dallas & Northeast Texas Chapter Office, 3001 Knox Street, Ste 200, Dallas, Texas 75205.
Funeral services for James Ralph Wilcher are in care of Rhone Funeral Home, 3900 S. State Highway 19, Palestine, Texas.
Please take a moment visit his online memorial tribute, where words of comfort and condolence may be shared electronically with his family.