Download Full Text (47 KB)


Ralph, 94, died April 4, 2022, in Santa Rosa, California. Ralph was born on October 30,1927, in Pasadena California. The family eventually moved to Boise, Idaho, where Ralph attended Boise High School. As a teenager, he would help Rudd refurbish broken cars and sell them. Ralph also worked as a laborer for the Forest Service doing everything from clearing trails to stringing phone wire. Ralph served in the Army for two years, spending time in Korea before the war. On returning, Ralph and Rudd built a cabin in McCall, Idaho, that became and is still, the summer getaway of generations of Gregersons. Ralph became a smoke jumper in McCall, serving in the years 1950 and 1952. It was while living in McCall and serving as a smokejumper that Ralph met Verley Takkinen who would become his bride on September 2, 1950. Rudd had worked as a mechanic and passed those skills on to Ralph. Ralph carried those skills into his professional life and became an airplane mechanic. This eventually developed into a profession as a “flight engineer” - the third man in the cockpit - for Pan American Airways. As a flight engineer Ralph literally traveled the world including Africa, South America, Asia, the Middle East, and Europe.



Publication Date

August 2022


Smokejumping; Smokejumpers -- United States; National Smokejumper Association; Wildfire fighters; Obituaries


Forest Management

Smokejumper Obituary: Gregerson, Ralph Rudolph (McCall 1950)