March 27, 1929 – March 15, 2019
Ralph Edward Rech was born during a spring snowstorm outside of Greybull to Ralph and Lily Scharen Rech. He grew up mostly on Poverty Flat and in his early youth at a variety of construction sites in the Big Horn Basin where his dad worked as a blacksmith and his mother as a cook.
In his teens he worked on farms and ranches along Shell Creek, Beaver Creek and on the Big Horns. He had perfect attendance in his gradees 1-12 education in Greybull, save maybe one year for a football trip or storm. Ed graduated from Greybull High School in 1947 and was the class president.
When at Montana State College in Bozeman, Ed was an al-conference athlete in football and wrestling, a football team captain and president of his fraternity. He was asked to escort a young lady to a college event where she would sing. That blossomed into a 60-pus year marriage to Barbara Schaeffer.
In 1952 Ed graduated from MSC in the spring, married Barb in the summer and they honeymooned on the way to his Army base and officer training before he was deployed to serve his country in the Korean War.
While in Korea, their first son Jake was born. After fulfilling his military service as a first lieutenant in the 1stCalvary, a second son, Jock, was born and then a daughter, Julie. Ed and Barb raised their family outside of Greybull.
Possessing a strong sense of purpose to care for his family, Ed worked for International Harvester. Later he started his own trucking company until he semi-retired and with Barb began another life chapter of farming and raising award-winning Targhee sheep on Shell Creek for about 40 years.
Ed enjoyed seeing people get together for fun, to raise money for worthy causes and for important milestones. He served on community boards and was particularly pleased with improvements to the Shell Hall and Odessa Cemetery. He thoroughly enjoyed a huge project to rebuild a dilapidated pipe organ from Cody and install it at St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church in Basin.
Ed was an avid irrigator. As an officer and a member of ditch companies, he encouraged peace and decency among all neighbors and users.
Ed loved animals and was seldom seen without a German shepherd by his side, a cat around the house, horses for his family, and sheep in the fields.
Ed passed away in Cody at Spirit Mountain Hospice House after a very short stay. He was preceded in death by his wife Barb and their son Jock. Ed is survived by their son and daughter-in-law, Jake and Sonia Rech, and their daughter, Julie Rech.
A graveside service will be held at the Odessa Cemetery on Thursday, March 21 at 2 p.m. A celebration of his life will held later in the spring or early summer.