Ralph E. Scissons, age 88, of Owyhee, Nevada, passed away on Monday, November 27, 2017, at Spring Creek Assisted Living in Boise. A memorial service will be held at 1:00 PM, on Tuesday, December 12, 2017, at the Human Development Center, in Owyhee, Nevada. Cremation was under the care of Rost Funeral Home, McMurtrey Chapel, in Mountain Home, Idaho.
Ralph was born and raised at Dallas, South Dakota, the son of Charles and Mary Scissons. He attended schools at Colome, Gregory and Dallas, South Dakota and also at Mission Boarding School on the Rosebud Indian Reservation.
Ralph volunteered for the U.S. Army and spent two years in the South Pacific, Japan and Korea. Upon his discharge, Ralph lived in Rapid City and attended National Business College a four year accredited college in Rapid City, South Dakota. He studied accounting and business administration. He was recipient of the Governor’s Annual Award granted to the top student in Accounting and Business Administration.
Ralph moved to Owyhee, Nevada in 1951 to accept employment with the Shoshone Paiute Tribes where he met and married his wife, Mildred. Ralph and Mildred celebrated their Golden Wedding Anniversary April of 2001. While living at Owyhee and Stewart, Nevada he worked with the Bureau of Indian Affairs as Property Management and Procurement Officer and Administrative Officer. He also worked for the Indian Health Service as Hospital Administrative Officer, Service Unit Director and after his retirement, he contracted with the Indian Hospital to provide transportation services for indigent patients. Ralph and his brother, Robert operated two service stations and automotive repair services in Mountain City and Owyhee, Nevada.
Beginning in 1983, Ralph worked for the Program Agency of the United Presbyterian Church in New York City and Boise, Idaho in Racial & Justice as Associate of Native American Ministry and Congregational Development until 1987 when both offices of the Presbyterian Church were moved to Louisville, Kentucky. During the transition, Ralph was employed as an Associate for Mission Program Grants in the Evangelism and Church Development Ministry Unit. After Ralph retired from the Presbyterian Church and returned to Owyhee, Nevada he was employed by the Te-Moak Tribe of Western Shoshone Indians in Elko, Nevada as Tribal Health Director.
In 1990 when David Pierce, then President of the Cook College & Theological School accepted a position with Dubuque Theological Seminary as Dean, he selected Ralph as Vice-President for Campus Affairs. When the Board of Trustees selected Joseph A. Dudley as President, Ralph retired again and returned to his home.
Ralph Scissons is an enrolled member of the Rosebud Lakota Sioux (South Dakota) and he has lived at Owyhee, Nevada on the Duck Valley Indian Reservation for the past 65 years. During all of these years, Ralph has been active in the Presbyterian Church in the Presbyteries, Synod and has served on many national committees and agencies. He served twice as Moderator of the Presbytery of Nevada, the Native American Consulting Committee (NACC) and the National Cross Caucus of the Presbyterian Church. He has been as officer, served 13 years on the Raft River Electric Board, and member of numerous other committees in the Presbyterian Church and in the community where he lived.
Ralph had no children of his own, and is survived by Mildred’s family, granddaughters Michael Anne Stout, and Polly Bruneel, and several nieces and nephews; Ray, Brenda and Mimi Scissons and Sherry Temple. He was preceded in death by his wife Mildred, her daughters Dareith (Dee Dee) Bruneel and Elizabeth “Betsy Vitalo, a granddaughter Gina Vitalo, his parents and all his siblings.