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Ralph Franklin Sotzing

Ralph F. Sotzing, 91, of Medford, Ore., passed away peacefully Monday, December 19, 2011, surrounded by his


Ralph was born March 24, 1920, in Bethlehem, Pa., to Ralph Webster Sotzing and Ruth (Hertzler) Sotzing. On October 29, 1944, he married Catharine Carson Sotzing, of Lincoln, Neb.

Ralph graduated from Liberty High School and Lehigh

University in Bethlehem, Pa. His passion for sports, especially golf and tennis, began at the Saucon Valley Country Club and continued his entire life. His wife, Catharine, was the love of his life, but he also loved playing the piano, flying airplanes, spending time with friends and sharing great stories of his life with family. He was an avid bridge player.

Ralph's career with United Airlines began in the 1940s, where he became a captain and flew the DC-3's in the western United States. He left the airlines to return to Bethlehem to help manage his family's business, Bethlehem Baking. He subsequently moved to Philadelphia, where he worked for the Chamber of Commerce and became the owner of Edwards Employment Agency. In the 1970s, he was able to return to the West Coast to enjoy a varied second career building on his love for tennis in Los Angeles and Monterey, Calif.

In 1993, he and Kit retired to the Rogue Valley Manor in Medford, Ore., where he had many friends. He also enjoyed playing piano weekly at the Rogue Valley Health Center, playing ping pong, golf, collecting pelicans, swimming, crossword puzzles and driving his 1931 Ford Roadster.

He is survived by his wife of 67 years, Catharine Sotzing; and his three sons, Steve Sotzing, of Greenwich, Conn.; Michael Sotzing, of Kent, Wash.; and Jeffrey Sotzing, of Fullerton, Calif. He was preceded in death by his brother, Richard Sotzing, of Bethlehem, Pa.; and the late Joanne Sotzing Bast, of Emmaus, Pa.

To honor his memory, a reception for friends and family will be held on Saturday, January 21, 2012, at the Rogue Valley Manor, Medford, Ore., 3:00-5:00 p.m.

In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the Rogue Valley Manor Health Center Fund. http://www.retirement.org/rvm/foundation/ind ex.htm.

Ralph Franklin Sotzing