October 31, 1923 - April 28, 2018
Beloved husband, father, grandfather, great-grandfather, brother, uncle, and friend, age 94, passed away on Saturday the 28th of April after a short illness. A “true gentleman” of the Greatest Generation, Ralph, Papa, Dad or “Doc” as he was known by his many friends and family, was born in Walnut Ridge, Arkansas, on October 31, 1923, to Leonard and Zula Fain Poindexter.
Ralph grew up during the depression on a cotton farm. In his own words, “It was a hard life, but we didn’t know any different.” As a result, Ralph only finished the 10th grade before quitting school to work on the family farm. At the start of WWII, Ralph helped build the Walnut Ridge Army Air Field. He fondly remembered the first 13 training planes arriving there, flown in by women. This inspired his lifelong love for airplanes and his enlistment in the Army Air Corp in 1943. Trained as a mechanic on B-17s and B-29s, he was stationed several places, but eventually landed in San Antonio, Texas, where he met the love of his life, Alene Fusselman, at a service club dance.
In 1946, Ralph was honorably discharged and moved to Michigan to work with family. Once there, he decided he needed an education and returned to Arkansas to finish high school. Upon graduation in 1948, he went back to Texas and married Alene that September. Later that fall, he enrolled at Arkansas State University on the GI bill and graduated in three years with a B.S. degree in biology. In 1952, he entered Baylor Dental School in Dallas and graduated in the class of 1956. Ralph relocated the family to Lantana, Florida, to start a dental practice with his uncle in Lake Worth.
Ralph and Alene spent 10 wonderful years in Florida, enjoying their five children, friends and church family. In 1966, the family moved back to Texas to ensure a college education for the five children. They made their home in Richardson, where Ralph practiced dentistry for 21 years. Upon his retirement, he passed the practice on to his eldest son, Jerry, who practiced in Richardson for another 30 years.
To the end, Ralph never lost his sense of humor, his wide smile, or his easy going, appreciative nature. He was a loyal man who always enjoyed helping others. Over his lifetime, he was involved in many civic and religious organizations, held many leadership positions, and received many awards. Most recently, he volunteered at the Richardson Senior Center and Twin Rivers Senior Living. He was a member of CARE Church (Richardson East Church of Christ) for more than 45 years.
He was preceded in death by his parents; his brother, Robert F. Poindexter; and a son, Jerrell R. Poindexter, DDS. He is survived by his wife of 69 years, Alene E. Poindexter; sister Isabelle and Morris Frazier of Houston; four children: daughter Carol and Andy Parcel of Carrollton; daughter Jane and Joe McManus of Katy; daughter Joyce and Bill Anthony of Garland; son John and Dana Poindexter of Richardson; 10 grandchildren; six great-granddaughters; 11 nieces and nephews; and many dear friends.
A memorial service will be held Saturday, May 19th at 10 a.m. at CARE Church (Richardson East Church of Christ), 1504 E. Campbell Road, Richardson, Texas 75081.
The burial will be held at Lawrence Memorial Park Cemetery in Walnut Ridge, Arkansas.
In lieu of flowers, donations in his honor may be made to Honor Flight DFW (www.honorflightdfw.org) at 2201 Long Prairie Rd., Suite 107, PMB 376, Flower Mound, TX 75022 or to CitySquare (www.citysquare.org) at 4000 East Side Ave., Dallas, TX 75226.
Arrangements are under the direction of
ARIA Cremation Service and Funeral Home
19310 Preston Road
Dallas, Texas 75252
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