Passing of Ralph H. Emerson II

March 4, 2021 -- It is with great sadness that I have to tell you that our Brother and friend Ralph H. Emerson, II, 33, has passed last evening in his home. Ralph was 91 years young and as most of you know lived his life as a devoted Christion and Mason, He will be greatly missed.

H. Wayne Kingsley


Companions and Sir Knights,

It is with sadness that I report to you the passing of Sir Knight Ralph Emerson II at the age of 91. He had the fortune of passing away in his own home after being in the hospital.

Ralph was a member of the Reno York Rite bodies since 1971, having originally obtained his degrees in Palo Alto. Ralph had a particular fondness for the Commandery to which he contributed a lot. He was Grand Commander of Nevada in 1982-83 and then went on to become the Southwest Department Commander for the Grand Encampment. Ralph was one of the finest ritualists I have met and I had the pleasure of learning from him not only through example, but also by direct coaching.

For almost 30 years, Ralph was the caretaker of the Nevada Knights Templar Educational Foundation, and through his economic acumen and diligent oversight, managed to grow the fund to over a million dollars and made it one of the crown jewels of the national educational foundation program. I could go on and on with his contributions to various Masonic bodies, but these are the two things that I will always remember him for the most. That, and the fact that he was a great friend and mentor. I will miss him.

Thomas Hultin, PGHP

Reno YR Secretary


Reno Gazette-Journal – Tuesday, March 9, 2021

Ralph Hettrick Emerson, II

Reno - Ralph Hettrick Emerson, II was born in Seattle, Washington on October 9, 1929, the child of Ralph Hettrick Emerson and Charlotte Mae Griffin. He graduated from Stanford University with a B.A. degree and, after military service with the United States Air Force in Korea, received an M.B.A. degree from Stanford.

At college, he met his wife of 65 years, Colleen Toring Emerson. Together they raised their sons, Ralph III, of Bend, Oregon, and George T. Emerson of Tucson, Arizona. The family moved to Reno in 1971.

Ralph's two great passions were Amateur Radio and Freemasonry.

As a child growing up in Palo Alto, California during World War II, he built radios and would bicycle to David Packard's garage to scrounge used radio components, since they were not commercially available. In his 50's, he realized a childhood dream of serving as a Maritime Radio Officer aboard merchant ships cruising the Pacific Coast.

His involvement with Freemasonry encompassed close to 70 years. He was a Past Master of Palo Alto Lodge #346, and served as an officer at the local, state and national level with the Scottish Rite and York Rite bodies of Freemasonry, maintaining an active roll in Reno Freemasonry into his 90's.

Ralph was a member of Trinity Episcopal Church. He was actively involved in Trinity's philanthropic outreach, as well as donating to the University of Nevada, Reno Medical School's children's research programs.

He is survived by his sons, and two grandchildren, Taylor and Kyle.

A memorial service will be held at Trinity Episcopal Church when conditions permit.

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