In Memory of




Obituary for Karl Keith Ralston

Jesus came and said, "Come unto Me all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you, and learn of Me for I am meek and lowly in heart. And ye shall find rest unto your soul. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light." Matthew 11:28-30

Karl Keith Ralston son of Flora Ann (Francis) Ralston and William Henry Ralston, born May 3, 1936 in Monroe Township, Adams County Ohio departed this life on September 15, 2020, at Kettering Medical Center in Kettering, Ohio, at age 84 years.

Karl was united in marriage to Marcella Stout on July 4, 1956. To this union a daughter and two sons came to bless their home. Surviving are Karla Terrian (Tom), Keith Ralston (Gwen), and Randy Ralston. He was a loving husband, father, grandfather, and great grandfather.

Ten grandchildren – Michael (Brooke), Kyle (passed in 2013), Ryan, and Chris Terrian. Zachary, Chase (Maygan) and Taylor (Lyndsey) Ralston; Justin (Heather), Kyle (Melissa) and Emily Ralston.

Thirteen great grandchildren – Alydia, Addie, and Carter Terrian. Reese, Ruby, Julian, and Elsie Ralston. Kaden, Nash, Lincoln, and Logan Ralston. Sophia, and Camila Alcantara.

Karl was preceded in death by his father, William Henry Ralston, his mother Flora Francis Ralston, and his brother Robert “Bob” Ralston.

Karl was born and raised on a farm in Adams County where upon graduation from high school he enlisted in the U.S. Navy. Following four years in the Navy, he received an honorable discharge as a Private Second Class. He was a very proud veteran of the U.S. Navy.

He attended the University of Dayton and accepted a position as an electronic specialist with RCA in Dayton before transferring to their offices in California, where he worked on the Atlas Ballistic Missile System. After three years in California, he returned to Dayton taking a position as Chief of Computer Operations with the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) Defense Automatic Addressing System Center (DAASC).

He then served as Chief of Systems Development for the Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) from 1970-1986, wherein this role he pioneered innovative logistics management strategies, saving the DoD billions of dollars each year.

Finally, he served in DLA as Executive Director for DAASC from 1986-1997. During his time in this role, he created and operationalized unique Electronic Business capabilities, of which are still utilized with DLA, DoD, and all of its Military Services today.

Upon retirement he was employed in several government contracting leadership positions, finally retiring for a second time as Vice President of Dayton Operations for STG. His professional and personal life brought him many friends and colleagues. He was an active friend and supporter to all those he had interacted with.

During his many years of service and employment, he had the opportunity to travel the world. His journeys took him to all seven continents. Enjoying these experiences, he and Marcella vacationed in many locations near and far.

Over the years, Karl was very active in his community helping to start Bellbrook’s first youth football program, a youth sports teams’ coach, and he was an involved Lions Club member for many years.

Karl was quiet in his faith, but he leaned on the Lord throughout his life and journeys. He and Marcella attended Far Hills Community Church for many years and more recently when his health permitted, Kettering Assembly of God.

Karl’s greatest enjoyment was spending time with his wife, children, grandchildren and great grandchildren. He truly loved watching his children and grandchildren play sports. He also liked to golf and enjoyed sail boating. He loved his home and taking care of his property and gardening. He with Marcella, also owned and operated the Horse Hilton Boarding Business for several years.

A farmer in his heart of hearts, he really enjoyed staying busy around his property and especially mowing the fields.

"And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am." John 14:3

You are invited to share during the visitation at Kettering Assembly of God (2250 E Stroop Rd, Kettering, OH 45440) from 11:00 am to 1:00 pm on Wednesday, September 23rd. Funeral Services will be held following the visitation and will begin at 1:00 pm. Burial and military honors to follow at Bellbrook Cemetery.

To help the family celebrate his life you are invited to use Karl's online Book of Memories to share photos, condolences, and memories on his tribute wall at