Ralph was born in Clay County, Jan. 29, 1923, the son of Roy P. and Nellie (Head) Sutherland. He married Myrtle V. Batchelor Sept. 25, 1942.
In his younger years, Ralph, known to his family as "Yi," worked for Arketex Clay Plant and hauled coal for Gibson Coal Company, both in Clay County.
Ralph served his country in the United States Army during World War II and was honorably discharged.
As he and his wife were beginning their life's work, Sutherland and Sons Inc. in 1943, he drove a truck in Indianapolis, as well as for Schwerman's trucking in Greencastle.
During the 1970s, he and Myrtle owned the Long Branch Tavern in Brazil.
He will be remembered as a hard worker and always tried to fit two days work into one.
He especially enjoyed running his backhoe's and dozers. Amongst his life's accomplishments was winning the Orville Redenbacher Lookalike contest in 2010.
Ralph loved life, especially his family.
He also enjoyed dancing and having family gatherings.
He will be remembered to his grandchildren not only as grandpa but also as "Buddy," and he was their best friend.
He was preceded in death by his parents, wife and sweet heart of 63 years Myrtle Sutherland, son Oscar Preston, brother Bill Sutherland, sisters Imogene Yards, Mae Cooksey and Magdalena Sutherland, daughter-in-law Donna Sutherland, son-in-law Skip Taylor, great granddaughter Michelle Tucker and a great-great-granddaughter Emmarae Kunkel.
He is survived by his five children Ralph Sutherland Jr. and companion Barb Hayes, Knightsville, Delores "Dea" McMahon and husband Jim, Brazil, Patsy Long and husband John, Center Point, Roy Sutherland and wife Sandra, Center Point, Nellie Taylor, Center Point, 13 grandchildren Ralph Preston III (Jeri), John L. Sutherland, Oklahoma, Tonia Tucker (Jim), Brazil, Brad Frye, Brazil, Jim McMahon II (Lisa), Darin Frye, Brazil, Tami Cooper (Gary), Reelsville, Joni Young (Larry), Reelsville, Melissa Moreland (Tom), Brazil, Marc Sutherland (Joni), Brazil, Matthew Sutherland (Becky), Center Point, Kim Hensley (Brian), Center Point, Kelly Smith (Scott), Brazil, Carl Sutherland (Susan), Brazil, Jason Sutherland, Brazil, great grandfather of 29 and great-great-grandfather of nine, sister Lydia Opal Mitchell, Mesa, Ariz., Jim Frye, dear cousins Bill and Bobby Head and a close friends Roger Moran.
He is also survived by his dog and best buddy "Dinky."
Services will be at French Funeral Home, Tuesday, June 5, 2012, at 8 p.m., with Pastor Larry Richmond officiating.
Visitation will be at the funeral home Tuesday, from 4-8 p.m.
At his request cremation services will be provided.
In lieu of flowers donation may be made to the Disabled American Veterans PO Box 14301, Cincinnati, Ohio, 45290-0301 or St. Jude Children's Research Hospital 501 St. Jude Place, Memphis, Tenn. 38105-1905.
Visit www.frenchfuneralhome.com to light a candle in his memory.