Timothy C. Ralston
10:00 a.m. CST
10:00 a.m. CST
Memorial Service: Wednesday, St. Mary's Catholic Church, Bismarck, ND
Timothy Clyde Ralston, “Head Dreamer, Buffalo Commons Tavern”© 62, passed away Dec. 5, 2010 at Medcenter One, Bismarck, after going into cardiac arrest. A Memorial will be held at 2:00 pm. Saturday, Dec. 11, at the King’s Walk, 5301 South Columbia Road, in Grand Forks with the Rev. Pastor Knabe officiating. A service will take place at 10:00 am, Dec. 15 at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Bismarck. Tim was born June 25, 1948, in Northwood, the son of Verne and Jill (Onyett) Ralston. He graduated from Unity High School, Petersburg in 1966 and then attended Mayville State College, where he graduated with a B.S. in Social Science and a minor in business education in 1970. Tim then enlisted in the Air Force and became an English Language Instructor in South Vietnam. He received the Air Force Commendation Medal for excellence in teaching and in 1974 received an honorable discharge. From 1974- 1979 Tim lived and worked in the Pacific Northwest, where he received a B.A. in Business Administration, and a B.A. in Economics, from Eastern Washington University, Cheney, WA. He majored in marketing, accounting, management, and economics. Tim then moved back to North Dakota, where he worked as a Field Inspector with the North Dakota State Tax Department. In 1983 he began working for Grinnell Mutual Reinsurance Company as the Marketing Representative for Northwest Minnesota, North Dakota, and Western South Dakota. It was during this period that Tim met and wed Mary Kay Keller of Dickinson. They were married Dec. 21, 1985 in Bismarck and welcomed their daughter, Mariah, on Oct. 22, 1986. In 1986, Tim and his family moved to Casselton, ND, where he became Secretary- Treasurer of the Farmers County Mutual Fire and Lightning Insurance Company. The family then moved to Fargo, but ultimately returned to the Bismarck- Mandan area. Mary Kay taught Spanish in the Bismarck Public Schools and Tim was Mr. Mom as well as working a variety of marketing jobs. Some other favorite jobs during this time included Apple Creek Country Club and the 2000 Census. Tim was a rugged individual, a proponent of critical thinking and creative expression. Where there was groupthink in North Dakota, he was not. Tim was a lover of music, literature, poetry, film, art, history, cooking, campfires, bichon frises, the Christian Science Monitor, and good coffee. He was a loving son, husband, and father, storyteller, world traveler, former mountain climber, and smokejumper. He fiercely loved his family and friends, Thermopolis WY, the Black Hills, Nash Township/Nelson County/Dakota, the Pacific Northwest and the Missouri River. Tim worked lovingly to improve the “postage stamp” home and yard he and his little family bought 17 years ago. He was by faith a Zen Lutheran and by profession, a poet. His major work, Nuclear Soldier, was unpublished at the time of his death. His wife and daughter plan to edit and make available his last revised edition. He is survived by his mother, Jill, Grand Forks; his wife of 25 years, Mary Kay; his daughter, Mariah, Sauk Centre, MN; his brothers Dan and his wife Deb, Stuarts Draft, VA, Nick and his wife Carla, Grand Forks; his sister Margaret and her fiancé Kim Robertson, Choctaw, OK; his brothers-in-law, Frank Keller, Dickinson, Pat Keller and his wife Carrie, Dickinson, Mike Keller and his wife DeAnna, Dickinson; sister-in law Nancy Heidt and her husband Dennis, Dickinson and many aunts, uncles, cousins, and favorite nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his father, Verne, in 2002; his mother and father-in-law Harriet and Ed Keller, Dickinson, and his brother-in-law Tim, Dickinson. Donations in Tim’s memory can be sent to Camphill Village Minnesota, the Central Dakota Humane Society, the International Music Camp or the charity of the donors’ choice. Those wishing to sign the online guest book or to leave a message of condolence please visit www.stevensonfuneralhome.com.