Remembering Ralph D. Tinsley

Ralph D. Tinsley

I have fought a good fight.  I have finished my course. I have kept my faith, II Timothy 4:7

Services for Mr. Ralph D Tinsley, age 99 of Ruston, LA will be held at 2:00 PM, Monday, December 12, 2022 at Owens Memorial Chapel Funeral Home in Ruston with Rev. Paul Watts, Bro. Zach Yates and Katie Martin officiating. Burial will follow in the Forest Lawn Cemetery in Ruston under the direction of Owens Memorial Chapel Funeral Home of Ruston.

Mr. Tinsley, also known as “Uncle Ralph” or “Papaw T” to many, passed peacefully from this life on Wednesday, December 7, 2022 while surrounded by his family and close friends. He was born on October 2, 1923 and lived 99 wonderful years. If you knew Mr. Tinsley, then you knew he was proud of his “homeplace” Haynesville, LA. Mr. Tinsley graduated from Haynesville High School and was a Veteran of World War II where he served in the European Theater with the 90th Infantry Division. He served in three campaigns: Normandy Beach, Northern France and the Battle of the Bulge under the command of General George S. Patton. Mr. Tinsley was awarded the Purple heart. Mr. Tinsley was a Mason of The Grand Lodge of Louisiana F. & A.M. for over 50 years. He worked in construction, building power lines for his brother-in-law M.S. Carroll Construction Co. as well as High Lines Construction Co. Mr. Tinsley later retired from the City of Ruston, LA.

He and his wife Yvonne were longstanding members of Emmanuel Baptist Church in Ruston. Mr. Tinsley was a devoted husband, father, papaw and uncle who loved spending time with his family as well as friends.  He was devoted to his four grandchildren and spent countless hours attending various events and supporting their endeavors. Mr. Tinsley enjoyed many hobbies including vegetable gardening, woodworking and trying to fix anything that was broken. He shared his love for hunting with his grandchildren and great grandchildren and walked many miles on his “homeplace,” building deer stands and reminiscing about his childhood.  There was no doubt that Mr. Tinsley was a mama’s boy. He touched the lives of everyone around him. Many have described Mr. Tinsley as the nicest, kindest man they have ever known. He shared a special friendship with Mr. James Payton.  The duo became “workout” partners and exercised together for many years at LA Tech. Mr. Tinsley and his sweetheart Yvonne had a love story that could be made into a Hallmark movie from the letters written back and forth during his time serving in the war to the old black and white pictures that are now beginning to fade to the stories that have been shared year after year.  He and Yvonne loved celebrating their anniversary on Christmas Day with family and friends every year. Mr. Tinsley was proceeded in death by his wife of 68 years Yvonne Rogers Tinsley; parents Denny Tinsley and Emma Browning Tinsley; son Ronald Ralph Tinsley; son-in-law Robert D Yates; great-granddaughter Emmy Claire Yates; three infant great grandchildren; and siblings: Loyce Tinsley, Earl Tinsley, Audrey Lee Tinsley and Lucille Tinsley Stuller Carroll.

Mr. Tinsley is survived by his daughter Cindy Tinsley Penuell and husband Larry Penuell; four grandchildren: Rowdy Yates and wife Jan, Chad Yates and wife Carolyn, Zach Yates and wife Heather and Katie Yates Martin and husband Jason Martin; great-grandchildren: Landen, Lawson, Levi, Connor, Clara, Jackson, Bella Grace, Ellie, Elizabeth, Georgia, Carter, Mitchel and Delainie.

Serving as pallbearers will be Rowdy Yates, Chad Yates, Zach Yates, Landen Yates, Lawson Yates, Levi Yates, Jackson Yates, Connor Yates, Andrew Garrison and Jason Martin.  Honorary pallbearers are Wayne Tinsley, Philip Carroll, Mett Carroll, Bill Carroll, James Payton and Larry Penuell.

Visitation will be held from 1:00 PM until time of service, Monday, December 12, 2022 at the funeral home. To leave an online message for the family, please visit