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Serving Opelika, Auburn, and Lee County since 1988



Ralph Lee Sharp

January 29, 1931 ~ April 13, 2018 (age 87)

Ralph Lee Sharp, 87, a lifelong Decatur, AL, native and more recent resident of Auburn, died at Bethany House in Auburn, AL, on Friday, April 13.

Ralph is survived by his wife of 63 years, Bettie Dillashaw Sharp; daughter Leanne Sharp Presley (Steven); grandchildren Ben and Annabeth Presley; and sister Betty Ruth Sharp Carroll.

He is preceded in death by his parents Robert Lee Sharp and Lucy Mae Hunt Sharp and his brothers John Robert Sharp and William Kirkland Sharp.

Following graduation from Austinville High School, Ralph joined the Army National Guard and served in the Korean War.  Upon returning from the war, he played basketball at Saint Bernard College prior to beginning a career with Worthington. He then worked many years as a supervisor at Fruehauf and enjoyed officiating high school basketball from 1955-1989. After spending his later years driving a school bus for Decatur City Schools, he finally “retired” at age 80!

He cherished the role of daddy; however, for the past 18 years, Mr. Sharp has been known most affectionately as “Papaw” and loved the opportunity to be a part of Ben and Annabeth’s lives.

Ralph was baptized at Southside Baptist Church in Decatur where he was a lifelong member. He was best known for his keen ability to make people laugh through his stories and jokes.  Ralph exemplified gentle strength, Christian grace and kindness.

              As an avid sports fan and athlete, it was a true highlight for him to be inducted into the Morgan County Sports Hall of Fame in 2014.

A graveside service will be held Tuesday, April 17, 2018 at 2 p.m. at Town Creek Cemetery in Auburn.

The family would especially like to thank Compassus/Auburn Bethany House for their comforting care during Ralph’s last week on earth.

In lieu of flowers, the family would appreciate cards sharing fond memories of Ralph sent to 1703 Fairway Drive, Auburn, AL 36830 or email to, Donations in his memory may be sent to one of the following:

         Bethany House, 1171 Gatewood Drive, Suite 300, Auburn, AL 36830

         Samaritan’s Purse—Operation Heal our Patriots

         Christian Medical/Dental Assoc. (CMDA) of East Alabama (


Jeffcoat-Trant Funeral Home directing.                      

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