American Veteran 04

Ralph W. Fairbank

September 5, 1935 ~ June 1, 2021 (age 85)



Ralph White Fairbank Jr. of Alexandria, Virginia passed away peacefully on Tuesday, June 1, 2021, at the age of 85. Ralph was born in Washington, DC on September 5, 1935, to Ralph White Fairbank Sr. and Dorothy Todd Fairbank. He was the youngest of two children. His sister fondly nicknamed him Buzz which he adopted and used throughout his adult life.  

Ralph grew up in Arlington Virginia where he attended Nellie Custis Elementary School, Washington and Lee High School, and Virginia Polytechnic Institute where he was a member of the Corp of Cadets.  Ralph served in the Air National Guard and Reserves while also working at Melpar in Falls Church, Virginia where he met the love of his life.  The two soon married and settled in Arlington, Virginia directly across the street from his boyhood home. Ralph’s hard work ethic eventually landed him into the commercial sales market where he climbed to partner at Charles W. Campbell & Associates and then eventually to owning his own firm, Ralph Fairbank & Associates where he was a sales rep for several large commercial heating equipment manufacturers. His success brought him good fortune which afforded him the opportunity to own vacation homes around the water, first at the West River and then at Virginia Beach where he often entertained family and friends. Sharing and being around the water with people whom he cared about brought him much happiness and joy. Ralph was also an avid golfer and enjoyed hitting the links whenever he had free time, loved rooting for the local sports teams, and was a die-hard Washington Redskins fan. His joy for humor and jokes was a trademark quality that we all loved so much about him. He will be most remembered for his steadfast commitment and love for his five grandchildren who he just adored. They were his everything and he was a common sight at every event throughout their youth and adult lives. He was the rock that they could count on, always there, always available, no matter what. He was the best; he will be greatly missed.

Ralph was preceded in death by his parents, his sister and brother in-law Anne Fairbank Cooper and Billy Roy Cooper. He is survived by his wife Bonnie Kern Fairbank; his son’s Stephen Todd Fairbank and John Ralph Fairbank; daughter in law’s Erica Jan Fairbank and Bonnie Burns Fairbank; grandchildren Shannon Elizabeth Fairbank, Justin Todd Fairbank, Melissa Jan Thompson and husband Patrick Naquin Thompson, Joseph John Fairbank, and Thomas Stephen Fairbank. 

A Memorial service for Ralph is planned for Saturday, June 12, 2021, at 2 pm at Emmanuel Episcopal Church, 1608 Russell Road, Alexandria, Virginia 22301. All are invited to attend.

People wishing to honor Ralph’s lifelong commitment to family and community can make donations to Emmanuel Episcopal Church or Children’s National Hospital or Capital Caring Health Hospice Care. 

To plant a tree in memory of Ralph W. Fairbank, please click here.


Funeral Service
June 12, 2021

2:00 PM
Emmanuel Episcopal Church
1608 Russell Road
Alexandria, VA 22301

Private Interment At a Later Date

Pohick Cemetery
9301 Richmond Hwy
Lorton, VA


Children's National Hospital
111 Michigan Avenue NW, Washington DC DC 20010
Tel: 1-202-476-5000

Capital Caring Health Hospice
5845 Richmond Highway, Suite 150, Alexandria VA 22303
Tel: 1-703-333-6960

Emmanuel Episcopal Church
1608 Russell Street, Alexandria VA 22301
Tel: 1-703-683-0798

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