Ralph E. Stoddard CHARLESTOWN — Ralph E. Stoddard, 86, died Nov. 25, 2020. He was born July 13, 1934, the oldest of four sons born to Harold A. and Gladys L. (Quinn) Stoddard. He was raised in Chester, Vermont, attended schools in Chester and graduated from Chester High School in 1952, where he served as class president his junior and senior years. While in high school, he was active in band and orchestra, and served as manager of the basketball teams. Also, he worked at Jameson’s Market after school, vacations and in the summer. Following high school, he attended Lincoln Memorial University in Harrogate, Tennessee, graduating in 1956, with a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration. After college, Ralph returned to Chester and went back to work at Jameson’s Market. A few months later, he decided to fulfill his military obligation and joined the U.S. Army for two years where he served a year at Fort Dix in New Jersey and a second year in Korea with the 7th Infantry Division. Prior to entering the military, Ralph married Carolyn McClary of Saxton’s River, Vermont. Together, they had three children, the oldest was born while he served in Korea and he did not meet her until she was 9 months old. Following his military service, he returned to work at Jameson’s Market in Chester. A short time later, the Jamesons purchased a market in Charlestown, New Hampshire, and made Ralph the manager. He then managed the market for 11 years, purchasing it in 1970. He was successful in this venture until 2002 when his younger son purchased it from him and continues to operate it with the very capable assistance of his sister. He became active in other aspects of the grocery industry and was elected to the board of directors of the New Hampshire Grocers Association and eventually served as chairman of the board. In 1984, he was named New Hampshire Grocer of the Year, a very distinctive honor. He also served on the board of directors of the Associated Grocers of New England for many years, including several years as the vice chairman. Ralph was active in the Bellows Falls, Vermont, Elks Club where he was the Exalted Ruler of the lodge in 1984 and 1985. He and his officers won the Vermont State Ritual contest in 1985 and then competed at the national level at the Grand Lodge competition in 1985. He was predeceased by his wife of 57 years; his parents; a brother, Richard Stoddard; a half-brother; and a great-granddaughter. He is survived by his children, Brenda Thomson and her husband, Steven, of Charlestown, New Hampshire, his sons, Steven of Manchester, New Hampshire, and Gary and his wife, Jennie, of Charlestown, New Hampshire; five grandchildren, 10 great-grandchildren; two brothers, Arnold Stoddard and his wife, Myla, of Charlestown and Francis Stoddard of Enfield, New Hampshire; several nieces, nephews and cousins. A private funeral service will be held at the Fenton and Hennessey Funeral Home in Bellows Falls, Vermont, at the convenience of the family, with a public graveside burial service to be announced at a later date. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the New Hampshire Grocers Scholarship Fund, 110 Stark St., Manchester, NH 03101; or the Elks National Foundation, P.O. Box 367, Bellows Falls, VT 05101.
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