Ralph William Firth, son of John William (Bill) and Mattie Forbes Nalder Firth, was born July 6, 1935 at his family home in Layton Utah. He is a life-long resident, living on Church Street in the home he and his father built. He married his sweetheart Kathryn Ellison August 20, 1959, in the Salt Lake City Temple. He quietly passed away on May 17, 2023, with his family at his side.
Ralph graduated from Davis High School in 1953, followed by two years at Weber College. He served as a missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the Eastern States Mission, leaving at the same time as his lifelong friends, Neil Adams and Don Evans. He graduated from the University of Utah with a degree in accounting and secondary education, “A Utah Man Am I!”
Ralph retired from the First National Bank in Layton, after working for 38 years starting as a bookkeeper to becoming President and CEO. He served as a member of the Board of Directors of the Bank for 55 years, retiring in 2019 with the name change to First Community Bank. He was active in the Utah Bankers Association, the American Bankers Association, and the Rotary Club. He was well-known in the community, and many have mentioned that not only was Ralph their banker, but he was also a trusted friend, having helped them fulfill their lifelong dreams.
He has served in many capacities in The Church of Jesus of Latter-day Saints throughout his life, serving as ward clerk, High Councilor, and as Bishop of the Layton 6th Ward. His favorite callings were as a home teacher and minister and as a ward greeter. He was known for quietly giving service to everyone that he met, generously pitching in whenever he saw a need in the ward family and in the community. He was known for his infectious smile and friendly nature. He would strike up a friendship with all he met and quickly trace your family connection to him because of his remarkable memory. Ralph was honored as the Hometown Hero in 2005 and celebrated as Grand Marshall of the Layton City Parade in 2021.
He was eager to continue the Firth and Nalder family legacy of being a farmer and sheepherder averaging about 30 sheep. The annual sheep shearing day hosted at the Firth farm brought many local sheep farmers along with their flocks for the event. It is a beloved tradition for many friends, family, and onlookers in the neighborhood.
He had a remarkable talent for making his children, their spouses, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and nieces and nephews, feel special by taking an interest in them, attending their activities, slipping them dollars on the sly, and being their biggest cheerleader. Because of his love for his sheep and his posterity, Ralph is affectionately known to all the children as Grandpa Baa.
Ralph’s favorite saying was “Of all the people I know, you’re one of them!”
Ralph is survived by his wife Kathryn, 6 children; Andrea (Lynn) Speirs, Layton, Laurel (Kirk) Bitton, Layton, Dr. John (Michelle) Firth, St. Louis, MO, Maria (David) Odle, Layton, Amy (PJ) Harrigan, Scottdale, AZ and Cherilyn (Brady) Bird, Layton; 22 grandchildren, and 26 great-grandchildren with one on the way. He was preceded in death by his parents, sisters and their spouses, Donna and Walt Hamilton, and Ileen and Elwin Roberts.
The Firth Family is so grateful for the loving care provided by Suzy's Senior Companionship Services, and the special visits from Debbie, Megan, Dan Horton, and Dr. Mark Firth from Applegate Homecare and Hospice.
Funeral services will be held Friday, May 26, 2023 at 1:00 PM at the Layton 6th Ward Chapel, 1402 North Fort Lane, Layton, Utah. Friends may visit with family Thursday May 25, 2023 from 5 to 8 p.m. at Lindquist’s Layton Mortuary, 1867 No. Fairfield Rd., Layton, Utah and Friday May 26, from 11:30 to 12:30 p.m. at the church prior to the service.
Interment, Lindquist’s Memorial Park at Layton.