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The Rev. Ralph M. Worden died on Nov. 11 in Phoenix. He and his wife were the first residents to move into the Mountain Park Senior Living Community complex in Ahwatukee.

Ralph was born to Edmund and Carrie Worden on Feb. 11, 1930, and was raised on a family farm in the Tyre, N.Y.-area. He married his wife, Evelyn, on July 11, 1953.

Ralph was a Korean War veteran and had several jobs before receiving his calling to be a Methodist minister. He began his pastoral ministry in 1966 and served as pastor of nine churches in New York, California, and Arizona before “retiring” in 1993. He preached the gospel to bring people to Christ with an honest, encouraging and challenging style that helped all people know they are both “lovable and capable.” Throughout his life he enjoyed family, nature, and participating in many sports, especially basketball. He had a powerful love for people and was deeply loved by family and friends.

Ralph is survived by his wife, Evelyn, their four children (Wayne, Mark, Wesley, Ellen) and nine grandchildren.

A memorial service to celebrate Ralph’s life will be at Desert Foothills United Methodist Church, 2156 E. Liberty Lane in Ahwatukee this Saturday, Nov. 23 at 10:30 a.m.

In lieu of flowers, please consider giving to the “Imagine No Malaria” project of the United Methodist Church to eradicate malaria worldwide. Checks may be written to the Desert Southwest Conference and mailed to 1550 E. Meadowbrook Ave., Phoenix, 85014, or online at

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