Ralph Gousha Jr. of Napa, CA, passed away on Tuesday, August 3, from a cardiac arrhythmia. He was 89.
Ralph was born in Lebanon, Pennsylvania to Ralph and Lillian (Blouch) Gousha in 1931. After graduating from Lebanon High School in 1949, Ralph moved through various cities before becoming an insurance clerk in San Francisco. It was there that a major car collision left Ralph convalescent for a year, during which he developed a friendship with his attending nurse, Mary Ann Miller. The two were married in 1963, and settled in Napa in 1972.
Ralph took a job as a driving instructor for National Driving School and found that he had a knack for it. Eventually, he purchased the business, renamed it North Bay Driving School, and expanded it to serve Sonoma, Napa, and Solano counties, offering driver education & training, traffic school, and specialized training for disabled drivers.
In the community, Ralph and Mary Ann were very active with the First Presbyterian Church, with Ralph serving terms as a Trustee, Deacon, and Elder. He also spent over 20 years as a Cubmaster and District Advancement Chairman with the Silverado Area Council of the Boy Scouts of America.
After retiring in 2000, Ralph began work with the CHP Senior Volunteer program, where he spent another 20 years assisting with clerical and non-enforcement work. He also volunteered with the Napa Valley Opera House and the Napa Valley Performing Arts Center as an usher for many opera and concert performances, graciously greeting attendees and patrons of the arts. In recent years, he has been a resident at the Meadows retirement home at the south end of Napa, and served as an Ambassador there, where he helped to showcase the best of older living to prospective residents.
Through it all, Ralph remained a personable soul, well beloved by friends and associates in all of his pursuits.
Ralph was preceded in death by his wife Mary Ann, who passed in 2007. He is survived by his sister Leontine, sons Ralph III (Andrea), Charles (Lynda), and grandson Steven. His ashes will be interred at Tulocay Cemetery in Napa, alongside his wife's ashes.
A memorial service is planned for Saturday, August 28, 2021, at 11 AM at the First Presbyterian Church in Napa. In lieu of flowers, we encourage donations to the CHP 11-99 Foundation or to the Boy Scouts of America (Golden Gate Area Council).
Due to COVID concerns, it would be appreciated if those attending the memorial would wear masks and practice social distancing throughout the service & reception.
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