Condolence messages poured in on Facebook Thursday as news broke.
Ralph's son Quinn says his dad taught 6-8 grade science in Huachuca City for over 30 years.
He says his father even had the plaque to prove his dedication and had a unique teaching method to get students to pay attention.
"When people were talking in class rather than yelling he would throw a tennis ball at you which usually got your attention," said Quinn.
Wednesday morning, Quinn says his father went to go fishing at a Rio Rico pond.
"He loves to go fishing and there and everybody knows in the desert there really isn't a whole lot of places to go fishing so he had permission to go through the golf course there and fish a couple of the ponds and last week he caught four bass so he was all excited about it but from what I understand he never made it to the pond to actually go fishing."
Quinn says his father was allergic to bees.
He says he will remember his father as someone who loved sports and the outdoors and was the best teacher he ever had.