Dr. Ralph Dean Worthylake passed away at home on January 12, 2011, at the age of 86, surrounded by his family. He was born on December 1, 1924, in North Bend, Ore., to Harry and Hulda Worthylake. He graduated from Astoria High School and subsequently attended Oregon State University, Carroll College, and the University of Washington, where he earned a bachelor of science degree. In 1943, he joined the United States Navy and obatined his Doctor of Medicine from Oregon Health Sciences University during his naval service. He was honorably discharged in 1952.
Raplh trained in a number of medical specialties during his career, including pathology, surgery, anesthesiology and psychiatry. He moved his family to Medford in 1966, and practiced psychiatry until accepting a position with the Veterans Administration at the White City domiciliary in 1975. He retired from the VA as the domiciliary's Chief of Staff in 1987.
All who knew him appreciated his brilliant mind and exceptional wit. Ralph had a remarkable intellect and was a true autodidact and polymath. He was fluent in both French and Spanish, but studied and was conversant in several other languages. He had an immense vocabulary and aside from medicine, he was highly knowledgeable in many subjects, including history, political science, literature, botany, geology, poetry, semantics and linguistics.
He is preceded in death by Patsy Worthylake, his wife of 52 years; and sisters, Barbara Wyatt and Patricia Huntington. He will be greatly missed by his five children and their spouses, Deirdre (Matt) Nauman, David (Rebecca) Worthylake, John (Rhonda) Worthylake, Darrah Halliburton (Steve Smith), and Laura Worthylake; and his eight grandchildren, Emma Nauman, Claire, David and Jack Haliburton, Joe and Owen Worthylake, and Hannah and Max Worthylake.
At Ralph's request, there will be no service.