John Ralph Higgins, Jr., 83, peacefully passed away June 3, 2022, at Plumas District Hospital, Quincy California. Ralph was hospitalized for MRSA staph infection and heart failure.
Ralph was born in Chicago April 5, 1939, the son of John Ralph and Florence (Bacigalupi) Higgins. Moved to San Jose in late 1940s and then to Los Gatos in 1948. He graduated Los Gatos High School in 1957. Served in the US Army. Graduated San Jose State with teaching credentials. Taught music at Andrew Hill High School for several years.
Extraordinarily talented, at age 14, Ralph played the trumpet and French horn with San Jose Symphony. He also played with San Jose Philharmonic and Monterey Symphony. In later life, he edited and arranged over 60 music books with A&M Records, Alfred Music Publishers, Frank and Nancy Sinatra, Warner Bros and Columbia. Co-authored three interactive computer software programs in music education. Was educational consultant to a software company. He transitioned from classical music to country club combos, jazz, nightclubs and recording.
Ralph was a true entrepreneur. He ventured into real estate, the restaurant business, playground equipment, magazine publishing and book writing. Finally purchased Sam’s Country Store and gas station in 1996 and changed the name to Relay Station. During this time, he wrote a murder mystery novel, “Granite Veil.” Sold the Relay Station in 2001 and retired to writing a newspaper column and ghost writing. Lived in Discovery Bay for 8 years but loved the Lost Sierras and moved back to Quincy in 2009.
Ralph leaves his wife of 30 years, Gayle in Quincy; in the Bay Area, daughter Shannon and husband Steve with granddaughter AvaSophia; daughter Juliane and husband John with grandsons, Gabriel and Joshua; younger brother Tom and wife Sharon; and step-grandchildren Vanessa, Emily, Luke and Seth.
No services planned at this time.