July/August 2021 California Cattleman

Page 114


Kenneth Jay Wemple (also known to many as “the mayor of Milford”), cattle rancher, cowboy and lifelong resident of Milford, passed away peacefully surrounded by family on June 17, at the age of 80 years old. Ken is survived by the love of his life, Kathryn French Wemple, sons Keith Wemple (Diana Wood Wemple) and Kyle Wemple (Anna Wemple); grandchildren Ryan Chase Wemple (Jody), Reg Winchester Wemple (Bobbie), Cash Leo Wemple (Sydney), Kattie Marie Wemple (Casey Awbrey), and Artem, Abigail and Alia Bgatov; great grandchildren Levi Kenneth Wemple, Lexie Joy Wemple and Layne Florence Wemple; and numerous nieces and nephews. He was proceeded in death by his beloved daughter Kristine Ellen Wemple, father Don Wemple, mother Gay (Corder) Wemple and sister Donna Gay (Wemple) McClelland. Ken was born in Susanville, on Sept. 19, 1940 and was raised on the Wemple family Ranch in Milford. Growing up, he was very active in high school sports, including field and track, basketball and football. He was also involved in 4-H and FFA, raising beef project cattle throughout his school years and later becoming a 4-H horse leader. Ken and Kathryn were married on Aug. 12, 1961 in Reno, Nev. Over the next nearly 60 years, Ken and Kathryn took great pride raising their family in Milford on the Wemple Ranch, where there was always an abundance of work, laughter, sarcasm and love to be found. Ken was an excellent horseman and always made sure good horses were underneath his family. Even with all the responsibilities of the ranch, he always made time for some weekend travel and could be found in rodeo and roping arenas alongside his family and friends. He was a member of the Califiornia Cattlemen’s Association and ACTRA and always made the time to haul his kids and grandkids to their Junior and High School rodeos. Ken served as a school board member with his first board position being at the Milford Schoolhouse where he replaced his uncle, Glen Wemple. The Milford School closed and was moved to Janesville Union School where he continued serving the community as a board member from 1969 to 1992 (22 ½ years). He also served as a representative on the Agriculture Stabilization Conservation Service for 10 years. Ken was beloved by many. His quick wit and strong work ethic were only matched by his love for his family and friends and cowboy traditions. A celebration of life was held June 26 at the Wemple Ranch/Wemple’s Pumpkin Patch in Milford. In Ken’s memory, donations can be made to St. Jude Children’s Hospital in Ken Wemple’s memory or to a charity of your choosing. 114 California Cattleman July • August 2021

RALPH CLARK Ralph Leroy Clark, of Plymouth, passed away on Wednesday, March 10, from complications after surgery. He was born Sept. 23, 1937 in Venice to his parents, James and Virginia (Meyers) Clark. Ralph is survived by his wife Susan Clark of Plymouth; children, Gay (Loch) Ockey of Fresno, Jim (Sherri) Clark of Snelling and Barry (Shannon) Clark of Ione; brother, William Clark; grandchildren, Sierra Zamora, Casey Clark, Brand Ockey, Michaela Clark, Sydney Clark and Peyton Clark; and many wonderful nieces and nephews. He is preceded in death by his sister, Barbara McCaleb (Win). In his early years, Ralph attended Fresno State College where he competed on both the judging and showing teams as well as a year on the rodeo team. In 1966, Ralph accepted a position at Chico State College as herdsman and married Susie Crump. A year later, he became the secretary manager of the Western States Angus Association which he held for four years moving the Western Angus Futurity from Las Vegas to Reno where it became the second largest Angus show in the country. Ralph took a management position with MC Angus in Madera to be near his kids Gay and Jim. after son, Barry Clark was born. Ralph loved his career, but family came first, and he loved his children and would do anything for them. Ralph managed the Amador County Fair for 26 years from 1978 to 2004. The Amador County Fair enjoyed his leadership as its chief executive officer. He enjoyed the many aspects of the fair from the arts as well as the addition of a wine competition and the betterment of the junior livestock show and auction. His reputation in the livestock industry attracted events such as Angus Days, Hereford Gold, California Shorthorn Sale and the establishment of the Cattlemen’s Jackpot Show. Ralph’s career revolved around the Fair Industry, and to him it was a “calling.” It was the life that he loved. Friends and family gathered for a celebration of life, June 26, at the Amador County Fairgrounds. Contributions in his memory can be made to Amador County Fair Foundation at P.O. Box 1072, Plymouth, CA 95669.

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