Ralph Jay Perdue Sr. was born Nov. 20, 1938, in Oklahoma City to Allie Andrew and Faye (Sutton) Perdue. He graduated from Capitol Hill High School in 1956. He played football for two years at Eastern Oklahoma State College in Wilburton, where he was the first Eastern JUCO All-American. He played varsity football at Central State University for two years, graduating with a degree in history and physical education in 1960.
He met Peggy Haney at EOSC and they married in June 1959. For the next six years, he coached football and baseball at Southeast High School in Oklahoma City. He had the privilege of coaching future Yankee great Bobby Murcer. In the summer of 1966, Ralph and family moved to Heavener, where he took on the head coaching duties of the Heavener Wolves football program. He coached through the 1974-75 season, and was succeeded by Robert Swinford in the summer of 1975. He finished his Masters Degree in Education from Northeastern State University in the summer of 1970.
Ralph assumed the duties of Junior High, Middle School Principal and teacher until 1983 when he went to work as a teacher at the Ouachita Correctional Center. Ralph, Bernie Bishop and Denton Mead started the first Adult Basic Ed and GED programs at the correctional center. In 1986, Superintendent Dale Elliott, coaxed him back to be the Heavener Assistant High School Principal and teacher. Ralph retired in 1991 after a 30-year career in public education.
Ralph left this earth to be with his Lord and Savior on Nov. 6, 2011, in the Peachtree Hospice Unit at Sparks Hospital in Fort Smith, Ark.
He was preceded in death by his parents, two brothers, Al Wayne Perdue and Ted Perdue Sr., one stepfather, Floyd Pruitt, one step-sister, Norma Jean McLemore and one sister-in-law, Norma Jean Perdue.
Survivors include Peggy, his wife of 52 years; two sons, Ralph Jr. and wife Shelly and Andy and wife Brenda; three granddaughters, Aneisha Woods, Jenna Perdue and Journey Perdue; one grandson, Kirksey Perdue; one great-grandson, Cameron Prier; one nephew, Ted Perdue Jr.; and one niece, Shari Borth.
Ralph was a member of Heavener First Baptist Church and Heavener Lions Club for 45 years. He was a 32nd degree Mason and a member of the local Masonic Lodge as well as the Bedouin Shrine in Muskogee.
Ralph was an avid golfer, spending the better part of his life, when he wasn’t at school functions, trying to wear out the greens at Choctaw Country Club in Poteau. During his lifetime, Ralph made five holes-in-one, four of them at Choctaw.
Services will be at 10 a.m. Wednesday at First Baptist Church, Heavener.
Visitation will be from 6-8 p.m. Tuesday at Dowden Funeral Home, Heavener.