Ralph Paul Schwarzbach

Ralph Paul Schwarzbach Ralph Paul Schwarzbach, engineer, actor, scientist, singer of “silly cat songs,” designer, romantic and self-proclaimed “dancin’ fool,” passed from this life on July 29 and left a great emptiness in our hearts. He was 81.

Ralph was born and raised in Jackson Heights, N.Y., by loving parents Ralph and Ruth, cosseted by older sisters Fran and Jean, and guided by beloved Aunt Fanny (all have preceded him in death).

He joined the Navy and served six years during the Korean War. During his service, he met and married Patricia Beebe, and after his honorable discharge, they gathered his family (now up to daughter Sandra and son Robert) and moved to China Lake, where he served a distinguished career as a scientist, engineer, science advisor to the 7th Fleet out of Japan (aboard USS Blue Ridge) and weapons technical advisor/liaison officer to the Japanese Self Defense Force. He established and headed the first Integrated Logistic Support Division at China Lake and was the project manager for the Sidewinder missile.

In addition to his work, Ralph loved little theater and worked tirelessly on all aspects of production to provide a professional level of theater for valley residents. He was president of the China Lake Players for many years and occasionally charmed audiences by stepping onstage into small roles himself.

After Ralph retired from the government, he and Pat moved to the cooler climes of Camarillo, where he worked as a contractor supporting the Navy base at Pt. Mugu. When Pat passed away, he thought he would not find love again, but he did in the form of his beloved Jenalee Taylor. (“He swept me off my feet,” she claims.) They were married, Ralph retired for good and they moved to Blaine, Wash., where Ralph found the “real green” he was looking for and he settled in to watch the moon rise over Mt Baker, travel, garden, remodel their home and “dance the night away.”

When struck with his rapidly progressing disease, Ralph, ever the gentleman, tried to the end to keep up the spirits of those around him, to smile and joke, hum, and waggle his feet in a little dance.

Ralph is survived by his wife Jenalee, children Sandra and Robert, stepchildren Chris Scott and Jimmy, grandchildren Shaun, Drew and Alex and numerous nieces, nephews and cousins. He would love donations to be sent to the Humane Society and animal charities in his name. A memorial wake will be held at a date to be announced.

Submitted by the family of Ralph Paul Schwarzbach

Story First Published: 2012-09-05