Dr. Joseph Frederick Ralston, Jr.
April 25, 1954 -
April 1, 2020

Visitation

Service 

Interment

Obituary

Graveside service for Dr. Joseph Frederick Ralston, Jr., age 65, of Fayetteville, TN, will be conducted Saturday May 8, 2021 at 2:30 PM in Rose Hill Cemetery. Visitation will be from 12 PM to 2 PM in the Fellowship Hall of First Presbyterian Church of Fayetteville. Dr. Ralston passed away at his home on April 1, 2020. He was born on April 25, 1954 in Fayetteville to Fred and Clara Ralston. From a young age Fred was busy and engaged delivering newspapers on his bicycle. Later, during high school years, at the Phillips Academy in Andover, MA, he started a business for the filling and delivery of magazine subscriptions and had a summer internship in the US Senate. After graduating from Andover, he moved on to receive a B.A. in political science from Yale University. During these years he co-chaired the Yale Political Union, a debate society and central forum for political discussion and activism at Yale. In the middle of his senior year, having fulfilled all requirements, he returned home to Fayetteville when his father passed away. He chose to assist his mother with the family-owned funeral chapel rather than staying in New Haven for one last semester of revelry. His dedication to family and sense of duty was strong. As a young man, Fred had worked with his father, a former US Navy Corpsman, and had accompanied him on ambulance calls.

In 1980 Dr. Ralston received his M.D. from the University of Tennessee College of Medicine and began a three-year residency in Internal Medicine at Baptist Hospital in Memphis. Following his residency he returned to his hometown, where he worked at Fayetteville Medical Associates for thirty-seven years until his death. He loved the long-term relationships he had with patients, for whom he advocated in his many roles in professional organizations.

He was Master, American College of Physicians; Chair, Board of Governors, ACP; and President Emeritus, ACP, the largest medical-specialty organization and second-largest physician group in the United States. He also served in several Tennessee Medical Association leadership roles, including board chairman. He served on the Board of Elders at First Presbyterian Church. He was especially talented with parliamentary procedure. He was one of twenty-five Master Physicians from across the United States to be inducted into The Royal College of Physicians, London. He was also a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians, Edinburgh, an Honorary Fellow of the Indian College of Physicians and the Royal Australasian College of Physicians. Closer to home, he received the Laureate Award as Outstanding Internist from the Tennessee Chapter of ACP.

Dr. Ralston’s multi-tasking talents enabled him to eat lunch while juggling conference calls and media interviews. His workday never ended. It was common for him to work on patient charts and medically-related responsibilities for several hours at the end of the day. He read medical journals between heats at his sons’ swim meets. He never wasted time having a tidy study.

The talented nurses, staff, and partners at Fayetteville Medical Associates created a community that was especially meaningful for Dr. Ralston. He was also nurtured by friends at First Presbyterian Church, TMA, ACP, and especially by longtime friend Ray Fraley, with whom he shared a love of books, history, and sports.

Dr. Ralston was a devoted father to his twin sons, now medical students and soon-to-be internal medicine doctors at his alma mater. His pride in and love for them was boundless. They shared a love of baseball, and he treated them to Braves games on many of their birthdays. When ACP duties required that he travel far and wide, his children were able to come along. These travels with him are among their best memories. He is survived by his children, James David Ralston of Memphis, Willis Farris Ralston of Memphis; his sister Susan Ralston McLean of Rainier, WA; his brother-in-law Arthur McLean of Dallas; his nephew Alexander McLean of Dallas; twelve first cousins; his partner Michele Matthews and her son Cade.

In his maternal line he was predeceased by his mother, Clara Belle Robertson Wolfhard of Fayetteville; his grandparents, James Herbert and Lilla Belle Young Robertson of Winston Salem, NC; his uncles, Winfred Robertson, Edwin Robertson and James Robertson, all of NC; and his aunt, Elizabeth Stamper, also of NC. In his paternal line he was predeceased by his father Joseph Frederick Ralston of Fayetteville; his grandparents, James David and Jessie Jones Ralston of Fayetteville; and his aunt, Josephine Ralston Binns (aka Penn) of Nashville. He was also predeceased by his sister Clare Chapman Ralston of Frankewing, TN and his ‘adopted brother’ Howell Lynch of New Orleans.

Higgins Funeral Home is honored to be serving the family of Dr. Joseph Frederick Ralston, Jr.

Video Services

68 Comments

  1. Daniel Vance

    Fred was a friend and colleague since our residency at Baptist Hospital decades ago, he was a brilliant doctor and a dedicated leader in the national internal medicine community, his presence will be missed by many.

    Reply
  2. Dixon Allen aka DJ Brooks

    I just got Word of Fred’s passing. I live in Florida.Im so sorry! Fred was a regular fixture at our home and even went on family vacation with us several times to Sanibel Island. He was a friend, a good friend. My mother, Joy Brooks and my stepfather, Mason Brooks thought the world of Fred too. This breaks my heart and to whoever reads this, I am mourning his loss and more so cherishing the wonderful memories of our friendship and times together. Nobody told me and again, I’m so deeply sorry…

    Reply
  3. Gerry Boccarossa

    He was very kind and was a voice for those who did not have a voice . My sincere condolences to the family.

    Reply
  4. Angie Steele

    Dr. Ralston was seven months older than I and in all my years I have never had a more capable and caring physician. I was sick when I started seeing him and he said, “”I’m going to make you well”, and he did. I’ll miss him greatly! I already do.

    Reply
  5. Ann & John Towry

    John and I are so deeply saddened to hear of Dr. Ralston’s passing. He was such a caring doctor and friend for so many years. He is already sorely missed. Our condolences to his family.

    Reply
  6. Emily Reynolds

    Dr. Fred Ralston was a great resource for us when I served as State Director and Chief of Staff for Senator Bill Frist. We looked to him for guidance on policy; we looked to him for leadership in the physician community; he always helped us in his beloved home county and community; and we valued his friendship. Although I haven’t crossed paths with him for several years now, seeing this news today was a blow, and I know he and his many gifts and talents will be missed in countless ways. Dr. Ralston’s family and friends are in my thoughts and prayers.

    Reply
  7. Barrett Rosen

    I am saddened to hear of Fred’s death. I know he will be missed by his sons and many patients! I worked with him at the TMA and have always cherished our time together. He was one of the brightest doctors I have ever known and helped make medicine in Tennessee much better for all doctors and their patients as well. He will be missed!

    Reply
  8. Jim Cooper

    I’ve never been as shocked to read an obituary as I was this morning when I glanced at The Tennessean. Your dad and I were the same age, both went to New England prep schools from neighboring Southern Middle Tennessee towns, loved the Ivy League, and returned to our state to serve, your dad in medicine and me in politics.
    I actually didn’t know him that well until he would visit me in Washington as part of the ACP delegation each year. I think he succeeded Clif Cleaveland of Chattanooga as state and then national ACP president. It was always a treat to learn from him and to see a great small town like Fayetteville (which I represented from 1983-1995) be so well served.
    I hope that if I can ever be helpful to you that you will call on me. I also hope that the story of your dad will be preserved for those outside the family, so that everyone can see that small towns breed excellence, compassion, and grace.

    Reply
  9. Ron and Cheryl Perrin

    We were saddened to learn of the death of our Timberlake neighbor, Dr. Fred Ralston. He was a wonderful man and was greatly valued by our community. Our hearts go out to all of his family and friends!

    Reply
  10. Robert and Emily snoddy

    We were so sorry to hear about dr. Ralston…he was an outstanding doctor and friend…he would go way and beyond to help his patients,,,,he always talked to my husband about the Atlanta Braves,,,,I hope we get a great doctor to take his practice…he will be some big shoes to follow…god bless his wife and twins…you will forever be missed…..

    Reply
  11. Karen Ray

    This news just breaks my heart. I have such high regard for Dr. Ralston. We moved to Fayetteville three years ago and were blessed to have Dr. Ralston take care of my 84 year old mother. He was always there to answer my questions (and I had many) and to be of help. The world has lost a beautiful soul and man of integrity. I am glad the memorial will be later as I will be there to pay my respects to this most honorable man! My utmost condolences to his family.

    Reply
  12. Patti Green

    I am sad and shocked to hear this news. Dr. Ralston was an incredible mentor to me during my career at Lincoln Medical Center. Rest In Peace to a Great Physician & Leader and Prayers to his family.

    Reply
  13. Keele Raymur

    So sad to hear of the passing of such a wonderful Doctor and prior employer. The community of Fayetteville was so blessed to have such a devoted and highly educated Doctor whom always put the needs of his patients first. My prayers are with Jim, Will and the rest of the family. Boys, your dad was one of the best. God bless you all.

    Reply
  14. Nancy Jean Muldowney

    Dr. Ralston was a wonderful physician who deeply loved Fayetteville Medical Associates and all of his patients. I feel privileged that i was able to work beside him for the past 5+ years. He always spoke about his sons and was so proud of everything that they had accomplished. I will always remember his wonderful sense of humor and his compassion for all of those he cared for. He will be greatly missed but never forgotten!

    Reply
  15. Jim King MD

    I was heartbroken to here about Fred’s sudden death. He will be missed on so many levels.
    Fred was a dear friend and we grew up together in organized medicine. Starting with the Tennessee Medical Association then going our separate ways with our specialty organizations. We worked together in Washington DC, Nashville and around multiple conference tables taking care of our patients and medicine. He earned the respect of politicians, physicians and other decision makers in the Healthcare world. Fred’s was thoughtful, knowledgeable, courageous and correct.
    I will miss him and it was an honor to know him and work with him.

    Reply
  16. Shelia Allen Luttrell

    I am just shocked to hear of Dr.Ralston death. I remember him taking care of my husband after his heartattack. My husband passaway in 1999 doctor Ralston came to the funeral home to see him..Dr.Ralston also found my daughter’s cancer she was only 16 years old at the time..He was not only their doctor, but a good friend as well.He always seem to make you feel better about any situation…You will greatly be missed my God comfort you family in these trying times.R.I.P Dr.Ralston

    Reply
  17. Joanne Filchock

    Fred was in my medical school class and was a star then, continuing to be an excellent physician throughout his entire career. He may have been the best physician I have known . His boys are following in his footsteps and will also be great doctors… He has been so proud of them and they are such nice people. His family, the people of Fayetteville, and the Tennessee medical, and even national medical communities, will miss Fred … He was truly one of the greatest

    Reply
  18. Sonya & Jamicka March

    It was such an honor to have known you. Sending prayers to the family and friends.

    Reply
  19. Linda Moore Williams

    I am sad beyond words. I appreciated Dr. Ralston and felt grateful to have him as my Dr. for several years. My thoughts and prayers are with his family.

    Reply
  20. Calvin & Christine Roland

    Such a wonderful Dr an friend a he was our long time family physician we will miss miss. God bless this wonderful family.

    Reply
  21. James and Kaye Bonner

    The Ralston family has been an important part of the Fayetteville/Lincoln County community for many years and have been, and are now, loved and admired by many. We counted them as among our friends. “Young” Fred will be missed.

    Reply
  22. Lori Russell

    It is so hard to say ‘Goodbye’ to such a caring and talented man. He will be missed by all who had the privilege to know him. I hope his family and friends find comfort in his legacy and memory.

    Reply
  23. Eula Moorehead

    So sorry about Dr. Ralston death. He was a wonderful doctor &person he would go out of his way to help.He has been my family doctor for years always gave us the care and dedication. The family is in our prayers and thoughts. Just remember all the good memories you have of him
    The Moorehead Family
    Eula Tammy &Steven

    The Moorehead Family

    Reply
  24. Kelly H. Stevenson

    Dr. Ralston was a TRUE Professional and trusted friend. Our visits were always informative and evoked a genuine sense of his personal care for his patients. We discussed our health, other subjects and hobbies during our encounters. He made us feel we was a part of a large family. RIP Dr. Ralston

    Reply
  25. Dorothy Small

    Dr. Ralston will be greatly missed by all who knew him and worked beside him. My deepest heart felt sympathy.

    Reply
  26. Jesse and Robbin (Graham) Kennamer and Tommy and Jane Graham

    How devastated and heartbroken my family and I are. Dr. Ralston was so much more than our Physician. He was our friend; a “buddy” as mom would say. Dad and mom knew Dr. Fred fifty-plus years and ohh, the stories daddy would tell. Daddy once told me, “I knew when Fred was ten years old he was going to be something great, but I didn’t know what.” Dr. Ralston was TRULY one-of-a-kind. We all ENJOYED going to see him. I just saw him in February and he said sweetly, “I’ll see you in four months” to which I replied, “I’ll happily be here.” It was obvious that he genuinely cared about his patients and oh, how we loved him. Dr. Ralston was a pillar not only to the medical community, but to this community. His loss leaves a void that dare I say, will be hard pressed to be filled.

    Reply
  27. Bill & Carla Pope

    Our prayers go out to the family of Dr. Ralston. He was everything you would imagine in a professional physician while keeping his small town manner. We will miss Dr. Ralston ever so much.

    Reply
  28. JudyHolt

    Praying for the family so sorry for your loss

    Reply
  29. George and Alice Holman Ahrens

    A consummate physician and a true friend.

    Reply
  30. Billy & Patsy Gray

    We are sorry for your loss. he was our Dr
    for a lot of years. I remember the first heart attack I had he rode with me in the ambulance to Huntsville Hosp. He was a caring person. He will be greatly missed by all.

    Reply
  31. Ron Cooper

    Prayers with the family. He was so kind to my mother and me during her health problems..

    Reply
  32. MARY PHYLLIS DAVIS

    “”MY”” DR.💜.. WHAT WILL I DO WITHOUT YOU💔. FOR OVER 25YRS I HAVE BEEN YOUR PATIENCE . I’LL MISS YOU! YOU WERE MORE THAN JUST MY DR. , YOU WERE MY FRIEND.. YOU WERE ALWAYS THERE FOR ME.. I LOVE AND WILL MISS YOU💔.. GOD BLESS AND BE WITH OUR TOWN AS WE MORN YOUR PASSING.. I KNOW YOU ARE WITH JESUS❤

    Reply
  33. Shawn Bentley

    He was a great Dr. He was also a great person it just don’t seem real I will really miss him he would do anything he could to help you. He will be missed!!! Was my Dr for 36 yrs. God Bless!!!!

    Reply
  34. Doris Quick, LPN

    Will, Jim, Michele, Ralston family and friends…it’s hard to find words to honor this special man. He was dedicated, extremely intelligent, kind and easy going, loved his family…everything others have already said. What an amazing life he lived. I appreciate having had the privilege to know him, work with him and to be his patient. Family and friends, you will be in my prayers. Thank you, Dr. Ralston…I will miss you.

    Reply
  35. Don E Robinson MD FACP

    What a loss, both personally and professionally. I have called Fred friend and colleague for over 20 years. Well done, Good and Faithful Servant. Rest In Peace.

    Reply
  36. The Chris Ledbetter Family

    Fred, you loved us and we loved you. You are already sorely missed. We will honor your memory by carrying on your example and we will do all we can to help your family, always. Rest well, dear friend.

    Reply
  37. Connie Tunstill

    Thank you for taking care of me all of these years. I really enjoyed my visits at the clinic and you always made sure I was healthy. You will be missed by many. Condolences to your family.

    Reply
  38. Jimmy & Ann Smith

    Thank you for being not only a amazing doctor but a wonderful friend.

    Reply
  39. Jimmy & Ann Smith

    Thank you for being not only a amazing doctor but a wonderful friend.

    Reply
  40. Mary Beth Seals

    It was an honor to have worked at Lincoln Medical Center and a privilege while there to have known Dr. Ralston. He was a devoted physician and friend to many. Sending to love to the medical staff, his work family at Fayetteville Medical, and his beautiful family.

    Reply
  41. Catherine Womack

    Dr Fred Ralston will be greatly missed by all. Whether he was seeing a patient in his practice or advocating with a colleague in the ACP, he was an incredible physician and friend. He led by example and was a wonderful mentor to me and many others. The world is a sadder place without Fred.

    Reply
  42. Mike And Sherry Parks

    We are so sad to hear of the passing of such a good man. He was an exceptional Doctor and a great Father to his Two sons. My Husband went to school with him and our youngest son is good friends with his sons Will and Jim. He was so proud of his two sons. Will and Jim you have our deepest Sympathy and you are in our prayers.

    Reply
  43. Beth Hatcher Davis

    I was blessed to know Dr. Ralston all through grade school, middle and some of high school. He really was so gifted and kind. He took care of my mom, Mrs. Flavil Hatcher. He was a genius, and it was an honor to know him.

    Reply
  44. Sandi Carter

    Dr. Ralston was my husband’s Dr. Razoo really thought he was a wonderful man and always so kind to Razoo. My condolences to his family. Razoo passed away in January.

    Reply
  45. Terry R Bain Jr

    Dr. Ralston always took time to talk with me and point in the right direction for things related to my health. He will certainly be missed!

    Reply
  46. Deborah Major Chaplin

    Thank you, Dr. Ralston, for your every gesture of kindness and exemplary care as my doctor and acquaintance; it was an honour to have known you.

    Reply
  47. Sallyann Storer

    I am saddened to learn of Dr Fred’s passing. I was privileged to work with him for 17 years at FMA. He was a friend and mentor and will be missed by his patients, coworkers and friends. My condolences and prayers go out to his loved ones.

    Reply
  48. Charlotte Quesnell

    I am still in shock and deeply saddened at the loss of Dr Ralston. It has been strange going to my desk and not seeing him sitting there beside me. He was a wonderful boss to me and a wonderful, dedicated doctor to his patients. He absolutely loved and adored Will, Jim and Michelle.
    He is truly missed.

    Reply
  49. Linda F. Williams

    My heart goes out to his family. He will certainly be missed in our town and community. May God bless you all in this time of sorrow.

    Reply
  50. Brenda Burns

    I am so sorry to hear of the passing of such a great physican and long co working friend .May God wrap his arms around all the Family and friends and co-workers and his patients .My prayers for all of you.Brenda (ER ) Burns

    Reply
  51. Sharon Ann Bonin

    A deep sadness came over me when I learned of Dr Ralston’s death yesterday.
    He was my doctor and will certainly miss him. I appreciated being his patient.
    My thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends.

    Reply
  52. Porter Clark

    Fred was a classmate of mine from kindergarten to elementary school; then many years later, he was my physician. He was always helpful and encouraging to me. He will be missed.

    Reply
  53. Fredna W McAlister

    What a sad day this is for the citizens of Fayetteville/Lincoln County! The passing of Dr. Ralston is a shock to us all. He was a man of dedication to the medical profession as well as a man of integrity to his clients. His friendship is one I will long treasure! My thoughts and prayers are with his family at this time. I feel honored to have had known Dr. Ralston not only professionally but as a friend🙏

    Reply
  54. Bruce J. Lauruhn

    It is so sad to hear of Dr. Ralston’s passing.
    I was so thankful that Dr. Ralston accepted me as his patient about 3 years ago. I had just put together the medical team that I needed and wanted. Now we’ve lost a main member of that team. So sorry.
    May God bless Dr. Ralston’s family.

    Reply
  55. Melissa McCool

    To the family
    We are sorry for your loss. My husband Kerry used to be one of his patients. Our thoughts and prayers will be with you in this time of grief. Dr. Ralston was a kind man. He will be missed by many. Sincerely,Melissa and Kerry.

    Reply
  56. Linda Gatlin

    How it saddened my heart to hear the news of Dr. Ralston’s death! I had the privilege of assisting him in the care of his patients in the hospital before the hospitalists took over that responsibility. He was my mother’s doctor and was so very kind and loving to her and cared for her many years all the way up until her death. I fondly remember sitting there with her as he examined her and they chatted and it was not unusual for them to share a chuckle or two!! My deepest sympathy to his boys who are young men now and will carry on his legacy, he was so proud of you and there was such a gleam in his eyes when he spoke of you! He was a wonderful man, a wonderful doctor and a real gentleman! So many in this community are so sad and grieve with you.

    Reply
  57. Dr. Bill Edwards

    He devoted his life to medicine and family. Thank you Fred (Dr. Ralston) for your supreme leadership always and love of medicine. You were a great colleague and example to us all. Thanks for being my friend.

    Reply
  58. Marcella scott

    With deepest sympathy to the family. God bless

    The scotts

    Reply
  59. Sue Cary Simmons

    The dedication and love for his patients will always be with us. My friend and family Dr for 30 plus years. Prayers are with his sons that were his greatest treasure. One of God’s very best.

    Reply
  60. Richard & Janet Petrina

    The pain in our hearts and this community goes deep. You were my doctor, my friend. You were always there for us. Your dedication, patience, persistence and kindness were some of your many outstanding qualities as a doctor, friend and human being. You will be missed. Our hearts go out to Will and Jim and we pray for their peace and comfort during this sad time.

    Reply
  61. Helen Stovall Brockett

    Great times and memories of going to school together and brief visits at reunions. Stoa all’s has a great respect for the Ralston Family. RIP dear classmate Fred. Condolences and prayers for the family.

    Reply
  62. Betty Honey

    This is so sad. I knew Fred when he was away at college and I helped his Dad out at the funeral home. He was a very intelligent boy even back then. He was a gentleman. I was always proud of him and all he did. Rest in Peace my friend. I know Fayetteville lost a great Doctor, Father and Friend.

    Reply
  63. Rhonda Flemmings Harris

    Dr. Ralston was my classmate. His dad and my dad were great friends. He’s been my doctor for over 30 years. My heart felt sympathy is extended to his family. He will be sorely missed by this community. Rest in peace.

    Reply
  64. Nancy West

    Dr. Ralston was my employee, my physician, and then my employer for many years, and always my friend. It was obvious to me in the mid-seventies what an extremely intelligent and overly capable young man he was when he worked with us in the hospital laboratory. I knew he would excel in medical school,
    and I told him then that I would be his patient when he started his practice. He hired me 10 years later to work for him at Patrick Clinic, but far beyond this, he has been my friend. To say I’ll miss him is such an understatement, my heart is devastated with this news. Jim and Will, you have my hearfelt sympathy and you have some tremendous footsteps to follow. He was so extremely proud of you even before your births. He always kept me updated on your accomplish-ments from swim team to academics. He loved you each fiercely. I am so sorry that he didn’t get to see you established in your professional practices.

    Reply
  65. Jim and Judy Perry

    What a terrible loss to our town and community. You were a professional in every sense of the word. Proud to call you our Dr and friend. Sure will miss you.
    So sorry to Jim and Will on the loss of your father.

    Reply
  66. Jim Roark

    My condolences on the passing of Dr. Ralston, an outstanding and caring medical professional who was a blessing to our community. May God give comfort to the family as they prepare to celebrate the life of a truly wonderful man and their patriarch.

    Reply
    • Arthur Slepian

      My deepest condolences to the family of Fred Ralston. Fred and I were roommates for three of the four years we were at Yale together and I valued his friendship immensely. He was intelligent, kind, compassionate and a person of great integrity. And he taught me how to make fondue.

      Reply
  67. Paul Sain

    It has been an honor to call you friend, partner, and Doctor. You will be missed.

    Reply

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Memories

68 Comments

  1. Daniel Vance

    Fred was a friend and colleague since our residency at Baptist Hospital decades ago, he was a brilliant doctor and a dedicated leader in the national internal medicine community, his presence will be missed by many.

    Reply
  2. Dixon Allen aka DJ Brooks

    I just got Word of Fred’s passing. I live in Florida.Im so sorry! Fred was a regular fixture at our home and even went on family vacation with us several times to Sanibel Island. He was a friend, a good friend. My mother, Joy Brooks and my stepfather, Mason Brooks thought the world of Fred too. This breaks my heart and to whoever reads this, I am mourning his loss and more so cherishing the wonderful memories of our friendship and times together. Nobody told me and again, I’m so deeply sorry…

    Reply
  3. Gerry Boccarossa

    He was very kind and was a voice for those who did not have a voice . My sincere condolences to the family.

    Reply
  4. Angie Steele

    Dr. Ralston was seven months older than I and in all my years I have never had a more capable and caring physician. I was sick when I started seeing him and he said, “”I’m going to make you well”, and he did. I’ll miss him greatly! I already do.

    Reply
  5. Ann & John Towry

    John and I are so deeply saddened to hear of Dr. Ralston’s passing. He was such a caring doctor and friend for so many years. He is already sorely missed. Our condolences to his family.

    Reply
  6. Emily Reynolds

    Dr. Fred Ralston was a great resource for us when I served as State Director and Chief of Staff for Senator Bill Frist. We looked to him for guidance on policy; we looked to him for leadership in the physician community; he always helped us in his beloved home county and community; and we valued his friendship. Although I haven’t crossed paths with him for several years now, seeing this news today was a blow, and I know he and his many gifts and talents will be missed in countless ways. Dr. Ralston’s family and friends are in my thoughts and prayers.

    Reply
  7. Barrett Rosen

    I am saddened to hear of Fred’s death. I know he will be missed by his sons and many patients! I worked with him at the TMA and have always cherished our time together. He was one of the brightest doctors I have ever known and helped make medicine in Tennessee much better for all doctors and their patients as well. He will be missed!

    Reply
  8. Jim Cooper

    I’ve never been as shocked to read an obituary as I was this morning when I glanced at The Tennessean. Your dad and I were the same age, both went to New England prep schools from neighboring Southern Middle Tennessee towns, loved the Ivy League, and returned to our state to serve, your dad in medicine and me in politics.
    I actually didn’t know him that well until he would visit me in Washington as part of the ACP delegation each year. I think he succeeded Clif Cleaveland of Chattanooga as state and then national ACP president. It was always a treat to learn from him and to see a great small town like Fayetteville (which I represented from 1983-1995) be so well served.
    I hope that if I can ever be helpful to you that you will call on me. I also hope that the story of your dad will be preserved for those outside the family, so that everyone can see that small towns breed excellence, compassion, and grace.

    Reply
  9. Ron and Cheryl Perrin

    We were saddened to learn of the death of our Timberlake neighbor, Dr. Fred Ralston. He was a wonderful man and was greatly valued by our community. Our hearts go out to all of his family and friends!

    Reply
  10. Robert and Emily snoddy

    We were so sorry to hear about dr. Ralston…he was an outstanding doctor and friend…he would go way and beyond to help his patients,,,,he always talked to my husband about the Atlanta Braves,,,,I hope we get a great doctor to take his practice…he will be some big shoes to follow…god bless his wife and twins…you will forever be missed…..

    Reply
  11. Karen Ray

    This news just breaks my heart. I have such high regard for Dr. Ralston. We moved to Fayetteville three years ago and were blessed to have Dr. Ralston take care of my 84 year old mother. He was always there to answer my questions (and I had many) and to be of help. The world has lost a beautiful soul and man of integrity. I am glad the memorial will be later as I will be there to pay my respects to this most honorable man! My utmost condolences to his family.

    Reply
  12. Patti Green

    I am sad and shocked to hear this news. Dr. Ralston was an incredible mentor to me during my career at Lincoln Medical Center. Rest In Peace to a Great Physician & Leader and Prayers to his family.

    Reply
  13. Keele Raymur

    So sad to hear of the passing of such a wonderful Doctor and prior employer. The community of Fayetteville was so blessed to have such a devoted and highly educated Doctor whom always put the needs of his patients first. My prayers are with Jim, Will and the rest of the family. Boys, your dad was one of the best. God bless you all.

    Reply
  14. Nancy Jean Muldowney

    Dr. Ralston was a wonderful physician who deeply loved Fayetteville Medical Associates and all of his patients. I feel privileged that i was able to work beside him for the past 5+ years. He always spoke about his sons and was so proud of everything that they had accomplished. I will always remember his wonderful sense of humor and his compassion for all of those he cared for. He will be greatly missed but never forgotten!

    Reply
  15. Jim King MD

    I was heartbroken to here about Fred’s sudden death. He will be missed on so many levels.
    Fred was a dear friend and we grew up together in organized medicine. Starting with the Tennessee Medical Association then going our separate ways with our specialty organizations. We worked together in Washington DC, Nashville and around multiple conference tables taking care of our patients and medicine. He earned the respect of politicians, physicians and other decision makers in the Healthcare world. Fred’s was thoughtful, knowledgeable, courageous and correct.
    I will miss him and it was an honor to know him and work with him.

    Reply
  16. Shelia Allen Luttrell

    I am just shocked to hear of Dr.Ralston death. I remember him taking care of my husband after his heartattack. My husband passaway in 1999 doctor Ralston came to the funeral home to see him..Dr.Ralston also found my daughter’s cancer she was only 16 years old at the time..He was not only their doctor, but a good friend as well.He always seem to make you feel better about any situation…You will greatly be missed my God comfort you family in these trying times.R.I.P Dr.Ralston

    Reply
  17. Joanne Filchock

    Fred was in my medical school class and was a star then, continuing to be an excellent physician throughout his entire career. He may have been the best physician I have known . His boys are following in his footsteps and will also be great doctors… He has been so proud of them and they are such nice people. His family, the people of Fayetteville, and the Tennessee medical, and even national medical communities, will miss Fred … He was truly one of the greatest

    Reply
  18. Sonya & Jamicka March

    It was such an honor to have known you. Sending prayers to the family and friends.

    Reply
  19. Linda Moore Williams

    I am sad beyond words. I appreciated Dr. Ralston and felt grateful to have him as my Dr. for several years. My thoughts and prayers are with his family.

    Reply
  20. Calvin & Christine Roland

    Such a wonderful Dr an friend a he was our long time family physician we will miss miss. God bless this wonderful family.

    Reply
  21. James and Kaye Bonner

    The Ralston family has been an important part of the Fayetteville/Lincoln County community for many years and have been, and are now, loved and admired by many. We counted them as among our friends. “Young” Fred will be missed.

    Reply
  22. Lori Russell

    It is so hard to say ‘Goodbye’ to such a caring and talented man. He will be missed by all who had the privilege to know him. I hope his family and friends find comfort in his legacy and memory.

    Reply
  23. Eula Moorehead

    So sorry about Dr. Ralston death. He was a wonderful doctor &person he would go out of his way to help.He has been my family doctor for years always gave us the care and dedication. The family is in our prayers and thoughts. Just remember all the good memories you have of him
    The Moorehead Family
    Eula Tammy &Steven

    The Moorehead Family

    Reply
  24. Kelly H. Stevenson

    Dr. Ralston was a TRUE Professional and trusted friend. Our visits were always informative and evoked a genuine sense of his personal care for his patients. We discussed our health, other subjects and hobbies during our encounters. He made us feel we was a part of a large family. RIP Dr. Ralston

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  25. Dorothy Small

    Dr. Ralston will be greatly missed by all who knew him and worked beside him. My deepest heart felt sympathy.

    Reply
  26. Jesse and Robbin (Graham) Kennamer and Tommy and Jane Graham

    How devastated and heartbroken my family and I are. Dr. Ralston was so much more than our Physician. He was our friend; a “buddy” as mom would say. Dad and mom knew Dr. Fred fifty-plus years and ohh, the stories daddy would tell. Daddy once told me, “I knew when Fred was ten years old he was going to be something great, but I didn’t know what.” Dr. Ralston was TRULY one-of-a-kind. We all ENJOYED going to see him. I just saw him in February and he said sweetly, “I’ll see you in four months” to which I replied, “I’ll happily be here.” It was obvious that he genuinely cared about his patients and oh, how we loved him. Dr. Ralston was a pillar not only to the medical community, but to this community. His loss leaves a void that dare I say, will be hard pressed to be filled.

    Reply
  27. Bill & Carla Pope

    Our prayers go out to the family of Dr. Ralston. He was everything you would imagine in a professional physician while keeping his small town manner. We will miss Dr. Ralston ever so much.

    Reply
  28. JudyHolt

    Praying for the family so sorry for your loss

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  29. George and Alice Holman Ahrens

    A consummate physician and a true friend.

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  30. Billy & Patsy Gray

    We are sorry for your loss. he was our Dr
    for a lot of years. I remember the first heart attack I had he rode with me in the ambulance to Huntsville Hosp. He was a caring person. He will be greatly missed by all.

    Reply
  31. Ron Cooper

    Prayers with the family. He was so kind to my mother and me during her health problems..

    Reply
  32. MARY PHYLLIS DAVIS

    “”MY”” DR.💜.. WHAT WILL I DO WITHOUT YOU💔. FOR OVER 25YRS I HAVE BEEN YOUR PATIENCE . I’LL MISS YOU! YOU WERE MORE THAN JUST MY DR. , YOU WERE MY FRIEND.. YOU WERE ALWAYS THERE FOR ME.. I LOVE AND WILL MISS YOU💔.. GOD BLESS AND BE WITH OUR TOWN AS WE MORN YOUR PASSING.. I KNOW YOU ARE WITH JESUS❤

    Reply
  33. Shawn Bentley

    He was a great Dr. He was also a great person it just don’t seem real I will really miss him he would do anything he could to help you. He will be missed!!! Was my Dr for 36 yrs. God Bless!!!!

    Reply
  34. Doris Quick, LPN

    Will, Jim, Michele, Ralston family and friends…it’s hard to find words to honor this special man. He was dedicated, extremely intelligent, kind and easy going, loved his family…everything others have already said. What an amazing life he lived. I appreciate having had the privilege to know him, work with him and to be his patient. Family and friends, you will be in my prayers. Thank you, Dr. Ralston…I will miss you.

    Reply
  35. Don E Robinson MD FACP

    What a loss, both personally and professionally. I have called Fred friend and colleague for over 20 years. Well done, Good and Faithful Servant. Rest In Peace.

    Reply
  36. The Chris Ledbetter Family

    Fred, you loved us and we loved you. You are already sorely missed. We will honor your memory by carrying on your example and we will do all we can to help your family, always. Rest well, dear friend.

    Reply
  37. Connie Tunstill

    Thank you for taking care of me all of these years. I really enjoyed my visits at the clinic and you always made sure I was healthy. You will be missed by many. Condolences to your family.

    Reply
  38. Jimmy & Ann Smith

    Thank you for being not only a amazing doctor but a wonderful friend.

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  39. Jimmy & Ann Smith

    Thank you for being not only a amazing doctor but a wonderful friend.

    Reply
  40. Mary Beth Seals

    It was an honor to have worked at Lincoln Medical Center and a privilege while there to have known Dr. Ralston. He was a devoted physician and friend to many. Sending to love to the medical staff, his work family at Fayetteville Medical, and his beautiful family.

    Reply
  41. Catherine Womack

    Dr Fred Ralston will be greatly missed by all. Whether he was seeing a patient in his practice or advocating with a colleague in the ACP, he was an incredible physician and friend. He led by example and was a wonderful mentor to me and many others. The world is a sadder place without Fred.

    Reply
  42. Mike And Sherry Parks

    We are so sad to hear of the passing of such a good man. He was an exceptional Doctor and a great Father to his Two sons. My Husband went to school with him and our youngest son is good friends with his sons Will and Jim. He was so proud of his two sons. Will and Jim you have our deepest Sympathy and you are in our prayers.

    Reply
  43. Beth Hatcher Davis

    I was blessed to know Dr. Ralston all through grade school, middle and some of high school. He really was so gifted and kind. He took care of my mom, Mrs. Flavil Hatcher. He was a genius, and it was an honor to know him.

    Reply
  44. Sandi Carter

    Dr. Ralston was my husband’s Dr. Razoo really thought he was a wonderful man and always so kind to Razoo. My condolences to his family. Razoo passed away in January.

    Reply
  45. Terry R Bain Jr

    Dr. Ralston always took time to talk with me and point in the right direction for things related to my health. He will certainly be missed!

    Reply
  46. Deborah Major Chaplin

    Thank you, Dr. Ralston, for your every gesture of kindness and exemplary care as my doctor and acquaintance; it was an honour to have known you.

    Reply
  47. Sallyann Storer

    I am saddened to learn of Dr Fred’s passing. I was privileged to work with him for 17 years at FMA. He was a friend and mentor and will be missed by his patients, coworkers and friends. My condolences and prayers go out to his loved ones.

    Reply
  48. Charlotte Quesnell

    I am still in shock and deeply saddened at the loss of Dr Ralston. It has been strange going to my desk and not seeing him sitting there beside me. He was a wonderful boss to me and a wonderful, dedicated doctor to his patients. He absolutely loved and adored Will, Jim and Michelle.
    He is truly missed.

    Reply
  49. Linda F. Williams

    My heart goes out to his family. He will certainly be missed in our town and community. May God bless you all in this time of sorrow.

    Reply
  50. Brenda Burns

    I am so sorry to hear of the passing of such a great physican and long co working friend .May God wrap his arms around all the Family and friends and co-workers and his patients .My prayers for all of you.Brenda (ER ) Burns

    Reply
  51. Sharon Ann Bonin

    A deep sadness came over me when I learned of Dr Ralston’s death yesterday.
    He was my doctor and will certainly miss him. I appreciated being his patient.
    My thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends.

    Reply
  52. Porter Clark

    Fred was a classmate of mine from kindergarten to elementary school; then many years later, he was my physician. He was always helpful and encouraging to me. He will be missed.

    Reply
  53. Fredna W McAlister

    What a sad day this is for the citizens of Fayetteville/Lincoln County! The passing of Dr. Ralston is a shock to us all. He was a man of dedication to the medical profession as well as a man of integrity to his clients. His friendship is one I will long treasure! My thoughts and prayers are with his family at this time. I feel honored to have had known Dr. Ralston not only professionally but as a friend🙏

    Reply
  54. Bruce J. Lauruhn

    It is so sad to hear of Dr. Ralston’s passing.
    I was so thankful that Dr. Ralston accepted me as his patient about 3 years ago. I had just put together the medical team that I needed and wanted. Now we’ve lost a main member of that team. So sorry.
    May God bless Dr. Ralston’s family.

    Reply
  55. Melissa McCool

    To the family
    We are sorry for your loss. My husband Kerry used to be one of his patients. Our thoughts and prayers will be with you in this time of grief. Dr. Ralston was a kind man. He will be missed by many. Sincerely,Melissa and Kerry.

    Reply
  56. Linda Gatlin

    How it saddened my heart to hear the news of Dr. Ralston’s death! I had the privilege of assisting him in the care of his patients in the hospital before the hospitalists took over that responsibility. He was my mother’s doctor and was so very kind and loving to her and cared for her many years all the way up until her death. I fondly remember sitting there with her as he examined her and they chatted and it was not unusual for them to share a chuckle or two!! My deepest sympathy to his boys who are young men now and will carry on his legacy, he was so proud of you and there was such a gleam in his eyes when he spoke of you! He was a wonderful man, a wonderful doctor and a real gentleman! So many in this community are so sad and grieve with you.

    Reply
  57. Dr. Bill Edwards

    He devoted his life to medicine and family. Thank you Fred (Dr. Ralston) for your supreme leadership always and love of medicine. You were a great colleague and example to us all. Thanks for being my friend.

    Reply
  58. Marcella scott

    With deepest sympathy to the family. God bless

    The scotts

    Reply
  59. Sue Cary Simmons

    The dedication and love for his patients will always be with us. My friend and family Dr for 30 plus years. Prayers are with his sons that were his greatest treasure. One of God’s very best.

    Reply
  60. Richard & Janet Petrina

    The pain in our hearts and this community goes deep. You were my doctor, my friend. You were always there for us. Your dedication, patience, persistence and kindness were some of your many outstanding qualities as a doctor, friend and human being. You will be missed. Our hearts go out to Will and Jim and we pray for their peace and comfort during this sad time.

    Reply
  61. Helen Stovall Brockett

    Great times and memories of going to school together and brief visits at reunions. Stoa all’s has a great respect for the Ralston Family. RIP dear classmate Fred. Condolences and prayers for the family.

    Reply
  62. Betty Honey

    This is so sad. I knew Fred when he was away at college and I helped his Dad out at the funeral home. He was a very intelligent boy even back then. He was a gentleman. I was always proud of him and all he did. Rest in Peace my friend. I know Fayetteville lost a great Doctor, Father and Friend.

    Reply
  63. Rhonda Flemmings Harris

    Dr. Ralston was my classmate. His dad and my dad were great friends. He’s been my doctor for over 30 years. My heart felt sympathy is extended to his family. He will be sorely missed by this community. Rest in peace.

    Reply
  64. Nancy West

    Dr. Ralston was my employee, my physician, and then my employer for many years, and always my friend. It was obvious to me in the mid-seventies what an extremely intelligent and overly capable young man he was when he worked with us in the hospital laboratory. I knew he would excel in medical school,
    and I told him then that I would be his patient when he started his practice. He hired me 10 years later to work for him at Patrick Clinic, but far beyond this, he has been my friend. To say I’ll miss him is such an understatement, my heart is devastated with this news. Jim and Will, you have my hearfelt sympathy and you have some tremendous footsteps to follow. He was so extremely proud of you even before your births. He always kept me updated on your accomplish-ments from swim team to academics. He loved you each fiercely. I am so sorry that he didn’t get to see you established in your professional practices.

    Reply
  65. Jim and Judy Perry

    What a terrible loss to our town and community. You were a professional in every sense of the word. Proud to call you our Dr and friend. Sure will miss you.
    So sorry to Jim and Will on the loss of your father.

    Reply
  66. Jim Roark

    My condolences on the passing of Dr. Ralston, an outstanding and caring medical professional who was a blessing to our community. May God give comfort to the family as they prepare to celebrate the life of a truly wonderful man and their patriarch.

    Reply
    • Arthur Slepian

      My deepest condolences to the family of Fred Ralston. Fred and I were roommates for three of the four years we were at Yale together and I valued his friendship immensely. He was intelligent, kind, compassionate and a person of great integrity. And he taught me how to make fondue.

      Reply
  67. Paul Sain

    It has been an honor to call you friend, partner, and Doctor. You will be missed.

    Reply

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