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Obituary: Ralph E. Painter

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Ralph E. Painter

1905 ~ 2008

Ralph E. Painter passed away peacefully in his sleep March 1, 2008, in Salt Lake City at the age of 102 1/2 .Born August 30, 1905, in Kansas City, Missouri, to Eldo Everett Painter and Rhoda Mae Hunt. Married Virginia Claypool in 1931. They later divorced. Married Lila Grinstead in 1956, who preceded him in death. Married Ida B. Frame on May 3, 1987, in Salt Lake City.

Ralph was raised as a Quaker and graduated from Friends University in 1927. His career was with the U.S. Postal Service in Kansas City, Missouri, as a railway mail clerk. Leaving that, he turned to farming in Kansas and Colorado before moving to Utah. In Salt Lake City he was a business man and restaurateur, owning and operating several A&W Root Beer Drive- Ins. He was the last owner/manager of the Grabeteria in downtown Salt Lake City. After operating as a legendary restaurant for 64 years, it closed when Ralph decided to go into retirement in January, 1977. He recently received his pin commemorating his 50th anniversary as a Free Mason. Ralph enjoyed weekly golfing with his friends at Meadowbrook Golf Course in the summer. Wintering in Mesa, Arizona, meant more golf, driving his new golf cart he purchased at the age of 94. Fishing in his unique amphicar, with "Painter's A&W" printed on the side, was one of his favorite things to do. He relished in the astonished stares from bystanders, as he would yell and wave wildly, coasting the amphicar down the boat ramp into the lake.

Survived by his loving wife, Ida; daughter, Janice (Edward "Bud") Ames; step-son, Rob (Sue) Frame; daughter-in-law, Mary Painter; sister, Dorothy Rush; grandchildren: Lance Painter, Joel Painter, Brett Painter, Denise Cardinali, Marjorie Ames, Susan Ames, Mikele Lynn Painter, Stacy Laughlin, Kris Henline, Terry Frame, Milt Fender, Don Fender; and numerous great-grand-children.

Preceded in death by: sons Richard, Charles and his wife Patricia; step-daughter, Doris Fender; granddaughter, Debra Frame.

The family would like to thank Caregiver Support Network and all their staff for their warm, professional care and friendship.

Funeral services will be held Fri. March 7, 1 p.m. at Larkin Mortuary, 260 E. South Temple. Following cremation, interment will be at Mesa City Cemetery. Online condolences at www.larkincares.com. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Ralph's name at the Shriners Hospital for Children, 1340 East 500 North, Salt Lake City, Utah 84103.