Ralph was born in Jacksonville, Florida at the end of Roselle Street on the family houseboat ib Feb. 17, 1916. His parents, Fred Herbert born in Nebraska and Mollie Wilson in Belfast, Ireland, were living on the Shamrock with their son, Herbert Asad Wilson. After friends suggested that living on the boat might not be such a good idea with 2 boys, Fred Herbert and Mollie began looking for a spot to build a home along the banks of the St. Johns River. Their travels brought them to Palatka where Mollie saw a site she liked. Their home was built in 1917 on high ground where the river was a mile wide. They were close to the downtown area as well.
Ralph enjoyed sailing and playing tennis. Both which were right out the front door. There
was a tennis court built between the house and the river. Those who preferred to watch could sit on the porch away from the bugs. He and his brother were
allowed to take a boat down to Lake George in the company of a hired hand to spend the
night camping on an island in the middle of the lake. The boys spent a lot of time on the river. The home contained two out buildings with several row boats and sailboats.
His father died in 1929 while he was still in school. Ralph attended school in Palatka graduating from Palatka High School on the 12th of May 1933. He graduated from the University of Florida College of Business Administration in 1938 and obtained a law degree from the College of Law in 1940. He married Maire Ginn of Palatka on April 18, 1941.
When WWII came along he served in the Army after his induction in 1941. Ralph was deployed to the Pacific Theater in 1942. He received a commission as second lieutenant in field artillery at Camp Stevens, New Caledonia, in September of 1942 and served until March 1943, when he was wounded. He was on Bouogainville and Leyte from 1943-1945 and was promoted to Captain in 1944.
Ralph married Marie Ginn of Palatka in 1941 and they moved to Fort Pierce in 1945. where he joined the law firm of Carlton, Ellis & Wilson in Fort Pierce. He was a partner in the firm of Wilson and Gilbert. He served as Municipal Judge of the City of Ft. Pierce prior to his appointment as County Attorney of St. Lucie County in 1953, He retired in 1978.
Among his accomplishments were a former member of the Board of Governors of the Florida Bar Assn; former President of the Florida County Attorney's Assoc.; St. Lucie County Bar Assn; Ft. Pierce Kiwanis Club, Treasurer of the St. Lucie County Red Cross and a vestryman of St. Andrew's Episcopal Church.
They had two children, a boy and a girl. His mother predeceased him in 1948 and his wife in 1993.
He died in Jacksonville in March 2007 and is buried in East Oak Hill Cemetery in Palatka.