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Ralph E. Cotton, 83, of Franklin, passed into eternal rest at 6:27 p.m. on Saturday, June 23, 2018 at his home, surrounded by his loving family. He was the last surviving member of his immediate family.
He was born in Seneca on March 23, 1935; a beloved son of the late Anderson Ralph and Elva (Hazlett) Cotton.
Ralph graduated from Cranberry High School with the class of 1953 and treasured lasting relationships with many of his classmates. He served in the U.S. Army from 1958 through 1960 and then served four years in the Army Reserves.
Ralph attended Victory Heights U.B. Church for many years, Seneca United Methodist Church, and the Atlantic Ave. U.B. Church over the past year when his health permitted.
He was a 53 year member of the Myrtle Lodge 316 F&AM in Franklin; the AASR Northern Masonic Jurisdiction of Oil City and New Castle, and a thirty-second degree mason.
Mr. Cotton was employed at Chicago Pneumatic Tool Co. in Franklin for 25 years and then worked for Franklin Steel/Franklin Industries until his retirement in 2000.
Ralph was an avid sports enthusiast and enjoyed hunting and automobile races. He especially enjoyed family vacations and supporting his children , and later in life, his grandchildren in all of their activities. He was a volunteer at the Cranberry Area Food Pantry while his health allowed.
On September 22, 1962 he married the former Wilda Morrow, and she survives. Also surviving are four children: Betsy Graham and her husband Douglas of Partlow, Virginia, and their children: Kristin (Alex) Foltz of Ruther Glen, Virginia, Kylie Graham, and Katelyn Graham, of Richmond, Virginia; Julie Buckholtz and her husband Jeffrey of Franklin, and their children: Garrett (Penny) Buckholtz and their daughter Adelynn Mae of Seneca, Gavin (Sarah) Buckholtz of Bridgeville, and Genna Buckholtz of Pittsburgh; Amy Hale and her husband Randy of Franklin, and their daughter, Allison Hale of Laramie, Wyoming; and Brian Cotton and his wife Deborah of York.
Also surviving are his sisters-in-law, Carolyn Morrow and Charlotte Morrow of Franklin, Marlene Morrow of Gilbert, Arizona; a brother-in-law, Robert Rouse of Grove City; and numerous nieces, nephews, and cousins.
In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by a sister, Viola Etzel; an infant brother, Bobby; an infant sister, Gladys; his father-in-law and mother-in-law, Arthur and Bernice Morrow; brothers-in-law: William Etzel, and James, Delmar, Gerald, and Boyd Morrow; and two sisters-in-law, Beryl Stratton and Ninna Rouse.
Friends and family will be received Tuesday (June 26) from 2-4 and 6-8 p.m. in the Hile-Best Funeral Home, 2781 Rte. 257 in Seneca, Cranberry Township. Additional visitation will be held Wednesday (June 27) from 10-11 a.m. in the funeral home, where the funeral service will follow at 11 a.m. with Rev. William E. Hastings, pastor of Seneca United Methodist Church, officiating. The V.E.T.S. Honor Guard will accord full military honors following the funeral.
Private interment will be in Brandon Cemetery in Cranberry.
Memorial contributions are encouraged to the Cranberry Area Food Pantry, P.O. Box 446, Seneca, PA 16346; the Venango V.N.A. Foundation, 491 Allegheny Blvd., Franklin, PA 16323; or to a charity of one's choice.
Online condolences may be expressed to Ralph's family by visiting www.hilebest.com