Raphael Oregon Tuten, Jr., of Lehi, Utah, beloved husband, father, grandfather, great grandfather, brother and friend passed away peacefully at the Mervyn Sharp Bennion Central Utah Veterans Home in Payson, Utah on May 22, 2019. His devoted wife of 22 years, Janet, was by his side as he slipped away. Ralph was born in Columbia, South Carolina on September 26, 1928 to Raphael Oregon Tuten, Sr. and Ethelyn Jesna Kirby Tuten. He graduated from Dreher High School in Columbia, South Carolina in 1945. He began his studies at The Citadel, a military college in Charleston at the age of 16 and graduated in 1948. He continued his education at The University of South Carolina in Columbia and graduated with a master’s degree in accounting in 1950. He began his 24year military career in the United States Air Force in 1950 serving in New Mexico, Korea (during the Korean War), Alabama, Georgia, Texas (where he completed his pilot training and earned “his wings”), Maine, Washington, Puerto Rico, South Carolina (where he taught at his alma mater, The Citadel), Thailand (during the Vietnam War) and North Dakota. It was in North Dakota where he and his family became members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. During his career he was a KC135 pilot and a SAC (Strategic Air Command) officer. He retired as a Lt. Colonel in 1974 and he and his family moved to Bountiful, Utah. Ralph had a beautiful baritone voice and from 1979 to 1988 he sang with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. While in the choir he had the opportunity to travel with them for performances in Norway, Sweden, Finland, Denmark, Holland, England, Japan, Australia, New Zealand and numerous cities in the United States and Canada. In 1993 he moved to Gilbert, Arizona and then later back to Lehi, Utah. He was proceeded in death by his beloved wife of 35 years, Ruth Engel Tuten and great grandson, Elliot Robert Brough. He is survived by his wife Janet Methvin Tuten, daughter Nancy Tuten Brough (Don) of Gilbert Arizona, son Kirby Tuten of Acworth Georgia, son Eric Tuten (Alexandra) of Slippery Rock Pennsylvania, stepdaughter Kim Howard Lowe (Ron) of Orem Utah, stepson Ben Howard (Becky) of Draper Utah and stepson Steve Howard (Nancy) of Benjamin Utah. Between Ralph and Janet, they have 24 grandchildren and 24 great grandchildren. A service to celebrate Ralph’s life will be held on Saturday, June 1, 2019 at Russon Mortuary, 295 North Main Street, Bountiful, Utah at 11:00 am followed by interment at the Bountiful City Cemetery, 2224 South 200 West, Bountiful. The family would like to express thanks for the loving care given to Ralph by the Mervyn Sharp Bennion Central Utah Veterans Home in Payson, Utah, where he has resided for the past several years. In lieu of flowers please donate to the Alzheimer’s Association or to a charity of your choice.

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Posted on: 2019-05-30

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