Ralph Charles “Doodles” Jefferson, Sr. was born on July 4, 1937 to Helena F. Lane and Francis V. Jefferson. He left this world on September 9, 2020, with his wife of nearly 60 years by his side.
Ralph was an elder of the Lummi Nation and lifetime resident of the Lummi Reservation, where he built his family home and the Top Hand Ranch. He raised his family there as people who are connected to the land and sea and who knew the value of hard work. He worked throughout his life as a fisherman, Harley Davidson mechanic, and for over 20 years, he sacrificed his health as an employee of the Intalco Aluminum Corporation, so he could give his children the opportunities he wanted for them. His passions were with the horses he bred and trained and the joys of traveling, riding motorcycle and playing golf with his family.
Ralph is survived by his wife, Madeline E Jefferson (Elmore), his sons, Jeff Veitenheimer (Diane), Ralph Jr. (Joanne), Raymond (Cassie), Randy (Jodie), Rob, Dale, Todd (Michelle), his daughters, Karyl (Mike), Cindy (Cliff) and Sally, 28 grandchildren and 22 great-grandchildren. He is preceded in death by his grandparents, Thomas and Mary Catherine (WhupKane) Jefferson and August and Elizabeth (Grandma Portage) Lane, his parents, Francis Jefferson and Helena Lane, his brothers, Francis “Shambol,” Leonard, Bert, Robert, Angelo, Bonnie and Adrian, his sisters Mary Helen Cagey, Stella James, Teresa Galeassi, Rosie Lawrence and Gertrude Washington.
Due to the COVID protocols, traditional services will not occur. Instead, the family will have an outside prayer service at the Top Hand Ranch on Friday, September 11 at 6:00pm and a graveside service on Saturday, September 12 at 10:00. Ralph will be carried from the family home to the Lummi Cemetery at 9:00am, with a motorcycle honor guard. The procession is open to those who want to participate and all social distancing protocols will be in effect for all gatherings.
Please visit the online guestbook for Ralph at www.molesfarewelltributes.com.