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Ralph "Willard" DuLaney

October 23, 1938 ~ March 23, 2024 (age 85) 85 Years Old

Ralph "Willard" DuLaney Obituary

Ralph “Willard” DuLaney, of Cuba, MO was born on Sunday, October 23, 1938, in St. Louis, MO to Ralph Wesley DuLaney and Ruth Olive DuLaney, nee Wyland.  He passed away at his home on Saturday, March 23, 2024, at the age of 85 years and 5 months.

Willard was a 1957 graduate of Steelville High School and enlisted in the United States Air Force in February of 1958.  He served honorably for 4 years and was an MP while stationed in England.  After leaving the Air Force, he had various jobs until he was hired as a river barge tankerman for ChemTech Industries in St. Louis. He spent the next 30 years, until his retirement, transporting chemicals up the river and pumping them off the barges. At one point in his career, he worked as a supervisor for Meramec Shoe Industry in Sullivan, MO for a short time during a strike shutdown at ChemTech.  It was here that he met his future wife of 45 years, Frances Marie Copling. They married on September 2, 1978, and had a blended family of 8 children.     

Willard enjoyed the outdoors, tending to his gardens and his apple and pear trees. He also loved fishing, hunting, and traveling.  He was a devoted husband, father, grandfather, and great-grandfather.

He was preceded in death by his parents Ralph and Ruth DuLaney; parents-in-law Vernon and Rose Marie Littrell Copling; brother Robert “Bob” DuLaney; sister Beverly (John) Avery; and brothers-in-law Carl Bridgeman, Bob Morris, and Marrion Bridgeman.

Willard is survived by his loving wife Frances DuLaney of Cuba, MO; children Cindy Radford of Steelville, MO, Laurie DuLaney and Ralph William DuLaney both of San Antonio, TX, Belinda DuLaney of Bernie, Tx, Brenda (David) Mendoza, Lynn Copling, William (Karen) Parkins, and Cary Parkins all of Cuba, MO; brother John (Linda) DuLaney of St. Louis, MO; brothers-in-law Ed (Penny) Copling of Lebanon, MO and Ray (Cheryl) Copling of Cuba, MO; sisters-in-law Mary Lou DuLaney of Fredericktown, MO, Margie (Tom) Dean of Richland, MO, Betty Bridgeman of Chetopa, KS, and Rebecca Bryant of Steelville, MO; 14 grandchildren; 21 great grandchildren; many nieces, nephews, cousins, and friends.

The family chose cremation as his final disposition. No services will be held at this time.

Arrangements are under the care of Hutson Funeral Home, Cuba, MO.

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