On Sunday July 17, 2022, Ralph Robert Benoliel passed away peacefully at age 81 from complications with his heart.
Ralph was born on April 6, 1941 in Bellefonte, Pennsylvania, the first of four children, to Bob and Ruth Benoliel. When he was in the fifth grade, and after moving around quite a bit, the family settled in Washington permanently. Ralph delighted in people, critters and plants. He loved life and especially loved being the father of his three daughters, Sasha, Sonia and Eileen.
Ralph enjoyed a successful career as a landscape artist and a designer nursery owner. He partnered with two people and started Green Earth, a landscape design and maintenance company that installed landscapes for many prominent businesses around the Seattle/Bellevue area. Ralph eventually became the sole owner of Green Earth and was also president of the Nursery Association for many years.
Ralph liked helping the people in his life with some advice or assistance. He had an aversion to clutter and was meticulous and detailed in his organization of his company books, tools and equipment. A ferocious Scrabble player, Ralph usually had several online games going at one time. You really had to be on your toes to beat him in a game. Ralph was also an adventurous eater, often trying new foods such as very exotic types of Sushi. At home he was a great cook, especially so with his roasted turkey and BBQ chicken or beef.
Life did not always go as smoothly as he planned, but Ralph was resilient, creative and persistent. His dream in retirement was to travel in his camper to Alaska and Arizona and other fun and interesting places around the country. He also loved vacationing in Hawaii, but without his camper. Ralph lived in Fall City for 40 years from 1965 until 2005, when he sold his home and acreage. He then traveled in his camper for seven years, returning to Whidbey Island in the summers for cooler temperatures. In 2012, Ralph slowed his travels to settle into being a full time resident of Langley, WA. There fhe continued living in his camper until the end of his life.
Ralph is survived by his daughters, Sasha Finley, Sonia Shelzi and Eileen Benoliel, his sisters, Betty Snyder and Carolyn Hunter, his brother, Doug Benoliel, his three grandchildren, Mitia Dion, Eve Duleba and Charles Shelzi, his two great-grandchildren, Elise Dion-Gravatt and Glenn Gillingham, and many nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents and his stepmother, Jeanne Benoliel.
A celebration of Ralph’s life will be held on Saturday, September 24th, at the Unity Church of Whidbey Island, 5671 Crawford Road, Langley, at 2 o’clock pm. Please join us. If you had the good fortune of having Ralph touch your life, feel free to share a story or two with his family and friends on that day. Oh, and Ralph would love it if you’re able to wear a Hawaiian shirt! In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Whidbey Animals’ Improvement Foundation (WAIF), www.waifanimals.org.