Major Ralph Alexander Dodds, Jr., U.S. Army (Ret.) passed away peacefully on Sept. 30. 2018 following a brief illness. He was preceded in death by his beloved wife Barbara in 2012, sister Joy Styring Moore in 2016 and son-in-law Craig Soderberg in 2018. He is survived by his brother George, children Ralph Alexander Dodds III, Patti Dodds Soderberg and Cathleen Dodds King, nine grandchildren and step-grandchildren, one great-grandson and several nieces, nephews and their children.
Born in Birmingham, Ala., in 1929, Major Dodds attended Ensley High School and was active in Boy Scouts and other community service. He worked his way through college at Auburn University and in 1953 became the first in his family to graduate from college. He was commissioned an officer in the U.S. Army and served with distinction in the Field Artillery in Vietnam where he was awarded a Bronze Star with V for Valor. He completed his Army career in the Air Defense Command, retiring in 1973. He then embarked on a successful second career in management with Tandy Corporation. Following his second retirement, he indulged his passion for gardening and won several local awards.
An avid military history buff, Major Dodds was on the surface a reserved man, but family and friends knew him as warm, friendly, caring and loving. Never taking himself too seriously, his ready laugh and wry sense of humor were always present. He always shared his wisdom and beliefs with tenderness and love. Tolerant of all people, viewpoints and conditions, everyone whose path he crossed is better for having known him.
A burial service with military honors will be held at the National Cemetery in Canton, Ga., on Tuesday, Oct. 9 at 1 p.m. The family requests that in lieu of flowers donations be made to the Salvation Army.