Dick, Kathy, and Steve Ralston started Ralston Brothers Antiques on High Street in Lyons in 1974. All three have passed away in the last ten years. The store is currently owned by Christine Ralston, wife of Steve.
==June 15, 1937 to May 14, 2020, Richard Hugh Ralston, 82 years old
Dick was born on June 15, 1937, to Opal and Frank Ralston in Iowa City, Iowa. Dick Ralston was a computer engineer, antique collector and dealer, aviator, and book lover. He grew up and went to college in Iowa. He was a Second Lieutenant in the US Air Force. In 1962, Dick was hired by IBM Corp in Rochester, Minnesota as a computer mechanical design engineer. In 1966, Dick was transferred by IBM to its facility in Boulder, Colorado. In 1969, Dick married Kathryn (Kathy) Keesler Jacob. They eventually combined their children from previous marriages to form a family: Cindy Ralston Kelly, Mitch Jacob, Jeff Ralston, Nate Jacob, Paul Jacob, and Molly McCormick. The family grew to include twelve grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. Dick left IBM in 1969 and worked for the new company StorageTek for 30 years. Dick Ralston retired in 1999 and had a house built in Lyons with Kathy, and started the antique business in 1974. After Kathy’s death in 2015, Dick downsized and bought a house in Longmont.
The family asks that anyone who wishes to donate in Dick’s honor, donate to the Lyons Regional Library, PO Box 619, Lyons, Colorado 80540.
Ralston Brothers Antique Store
Kathy and Dick were avid antique collectors and dealers. In 1974, Dick, Kathy, and Dick’s brother Steve started an antique store in Lyons, Colorado. The store is still owned and operated by Steve’s widow Christine. Dick and Kathy traveled the country doing antique shows in the 1970’s and 80’s and filled their homes with an eclectic collection of antiques, which extended into filling the Lyons store. Steve was a master restoration craftsman. His restorations of Wurlitzer jukeboxes set a world standard. He loved to share his knowledge with people. The antique store is said to be the longest, continually-operating antique shop in Colorado. The building was originally a general merchandise store built in 1884 by Edward S. Lyon.
Lyons Regional Library
Dick and Kathy were avid readers. When Dick went to downsize their Lyons house, there were over 1,200 books on the shelves. Dick read widely, devouring historical fiction, and Kathy was known to read five novels at a time. Their mutual love of reading spurred them to support the building of the new Lyons Regional Library after the flood of 2013. In appreciation for the donations given to the library, the reading room was named the Kathy Ralston Quiet Reading Room. Library records show a $30,000 donation for the room.
==June 27, 1948 to December 29, 2007, Steven Ray Ralston, 58 years old
Steve was born in Iowa City, Iowa. By the time he entered high school, he had developed a wide range of interests and skills. He excavated fossils, was a rock hound, created lapidary jewelry, dug bottles, salvaged stained glass windows, and purchased fine antique furniture. While he had many other interests and jobs over the decades, this early spark of “old things” lead him to open Ralston Brothers Antiques in Lyons with his brother. He loved aviation and parachute jumping and joined the U.S. Air Force in 1969. He served two tours of duty in Vietnam with distinction, earning several medals and citations. He loved WWII planes and visited related museums and air shows. He married Christine Miller Field on June 6, 1981 and they moved into their home above the antique shop. Christine is now the owner of the store, and continues to operate and live above it.
==March 15, 1938 to September 9, 2015, Kathryn Ralston, 77 years old
Kathy was born in Iowa. She married Dick Ralston in 1969. Dick and Kathy raised their six children together. Kathy was a Master Gardener, loved nature and had several cats. She was an avid reader; her house was filled with books, and was always in the middle of four or five novels. Her passion for books inspired others–her children, grandchildren, friends, even the town of Lyons as she supported the building of a new library after the flood. One could always count on Kathy for a great book recommendation. She also collected stories from others and retold them with great drama. She was a collector, supporter, and creator of arts herself, doing embroidery, quilts, and paintings. Because of the Ralstons’ financial and heartfelt support of the new library, it named a room after her: the Kathy Ralston Quiet Reading Room.
This information was drawn from longer obituaries of each person’s life, written by the family.