Ralph Yetka Memorial Scholarship
Ralph was a 1964 graduate of the U.S. Coast Guard Academy with a degree in engineering. He spent many hours aboard ship and learned to respect the water. He first came to Ketchikan as a new Ensign assigned to the USCGC Bittersweet. During those first years in Alaska, he took his first helicopter ride with Ken Eichner. His love of flying intensified with this trip.
Ralph went through Naval Flight Training in Pensacola, Florida, in 1966. The memories of Alaska were always in his mind and Ralph and his family, wife Phyllis and 2 daughters, Susan and Karen returned to Ketchikan in 1974. For the next 14 years Ralph was a part of TEMSCO Helicopters and the community of Ketchikan.
Involvement and commitment were important to Ralph. He was widely read and loved to teach anything to people who were interested in learning. He taught many classes at Ketchikan Community College: aviation, sailing, celestial navigation and computers.
Ralph Yetka was a caring person and volunteerism was a part of his commitment to his community. Ralph was a member of the March of Dimes for 11 years and helped in the fight against birth defects, both in fund raising and in the leadership of the organization. He spent many hours with the Ketchikan Volunteer Rescue Squad, bringing injured persons to medical facilities. Friends and family were familiar with Ralph’s motto: “If something is worth doing, it is worth doing right.”
Shortly after Ralph’s death in 1988,with a memorial from, family and friends the Ketchikan Campus Council of the University of Alaska Southeast established the Ralph Yetka Memorial Scholarship.