Ralph Eugene Lierheimer

May 26, 1933 - Apr 4, 2019


Ralph Eugene Lierheimer, loving husband, father, and grandfather, passed away on April 4, 2019 at the age of 85.

“Gene” Lierheimer was born in Mexico, Missouri in 1933. After graduating from Mexico High School in 1950, he worked on the family farm and later attended San Francisco City College. In 1953, he enlisted in the U.S. Army and was stationed in the Philippines, which sparked his lifelong passion for Asian politics and culture. He received his B.A. from the University of the Philippines, and his M.A. in Far Eastern Studies from the University of the Pacific in Stockton, California in 1959.

In December 1958, Gene married Rose Yee, and together they raised three children. Not long after their marriage and the birth of their first child, Gene and Rose moved to Taiwan to teach English and history at Taiwan Provincial Normal University in Taipei. After two years in Taipei, Gene dedicated his life to his country and embarked on a career in government service. His travels took him on numerous adventures, from parachuting into the jungles of Panama to hunting wild boar in Sumatra. Over the years, he was stationed in Djakarta, Indonesia and Hong Kong, before returning home to the States and eventually retiring in Granite Bay, California. After completing 30 years of loyal and meritorious service, he was awarded the Career Intelligence Medal for exceptional achievement.

Gene was a member of Bethel Presbyterian Church in Mexico, Missouri. His many and eclectic interests included Chinese food, country music, Native American history, and arguing about politics. But with all of the amazing experiences he had over the course of his life, what was most important to him was family.

Gene is survived by his wife of 60 years, Rose Lierheimer, three children, Linda, Lisa, and Richard, and four adoring grandchildren, Owen Daniel, Callista Lierheimer, Angelo Lepore, and Will Lierheimer, as well as his brother James Lierheimer.

The family asks that in lieu of flowers, donations be contributed in his memory to the University of San Francisco Foundation’s fund for multiple myeloma (https://makeagift.ucsf.edu/cancerfund). Under “Direct your gift to a specific area,” choose “Other,” and indicate “Fund for Multiple Myeloma (#B2704).”

A memorial will be held at East Lawn Cemetery in Sacramento, CA on August 30, 2019 at 2pm.


  • Jessie Enriquez says:

    Thank you for allowing me to take care of Ralph and your family during this journey of loss. I wish you comfort and peace in the days ahead. ~Jessie @ East Lawn, East Sacramento Mortuary.

    • Larry W. Waterfield says:

      I was related to Gene by marriage but knew him as a friend–as were his wife and children. They were helpful and kind to us in Washington, D.C. where we had moved, and knew few people. Gene and my wife Sandra, his cousin, were good friends and I guess we all could relate to our small town and farm backgrounds in Mid-Missouri. Gene did indeed serve his country faithfully in the military and in the intelligence services, and steeped himself in the culture and politics of east Asia. But he also kept in touch with his heartland American roots, including the rich farmlands. It was a privilege to know Gene. His presence made the world a little better. Larry W. Waterfield

  • Dave Varshock says:

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