Ralph Allen Barfield

July 18, 1952 - March 7, 2024

Ralph was born in Petersburg Virginia July 18, 1952. His family later moved to Colonial Heights where Ralph attended and graduated from Colonial Heights High School. He was on the football team, the wrestling team, and a member of the Gamma Delta Psi fraternity. After High School he enlisted in the United States Air Force. His enlistment would take him throughout the United States and Asia. In 1972 he would marry his high school sweetheart Patricia “Patty” Blankenship. After six years of service, he was honorably discharged in 1977 with the rank of Staff Sergeant.

He joined the Charlottesville Police Department in 1977 where he would dedicate 27 years of service, earning the rank of Detective Sergeant. After starting, he immediately became both a student, as well as a police officer. Aside from his degree from Piedmont Virginia Community College, where he would earn the Distinguished Alumni award, and his bachelor's degree in administration of justice from Virginia Commonwealth University, he regularly participated in forensic training with the Virginia Forensic Science Academy, the FBI Academy, the Southern Police Institute, and the National Fire Academy.

Ralph was a graduate of the Virginia Institute of Forensic Science and Medicine where he was certified as a senior crime scene analyst by the International Association of Identification. He was recognized as an expert in fingerprints, arson, and crime scene investigation by state and federal courts.

Through his career, he was part of a unit that gained national and international recognition for contributions to the field of forensic evidence. That unit was featured on CBS television and National Public Radio for outstanding work with DNA.

Throughout his career, he frequently returned to Piedmont Virginia Community College to guest lecture for administration of justice and biotechnology classes. He was a favorite with Charlottesville High School biology students when they were introduced to the study of DNA and its application to help police solve crimes.

Ralph’s personal passions included fishing, history, family vacations to the Outer Banks, football; especially the Dallas Cowboys, working in the yard and the outdoors. Celebrating the holidays with his family was one of his favorite things to do.

In addition to his parents, Ralph was preceded in death by his brothers, Kenneth, and David Barfield.

Ralph leaves behind his beloved wife of 51 years Patty Barfield and his three children: Matthew (Stefanie Barfield), Allison Hughes, Garrett (Amy Barfield). He loved being a grandfather affectionately called pampaw and grandpa. He leaves behind his beloved grandchildren, Graham (23), Kayden (19), Evie (14), Molly (12), Grayson (10), Lucy (8), Miller (8) & Jacob (6). As well as his sister-in-law, Clay Blankenship, who he adored greatly in addition to nieces and nephews. Ralph also leaves behind an older brother, Jimmy Barfield, and younger brother, Keith Barfield.

Ralph’s family would also like to thank the dedicated and caring staff at the Rosewood Village at Hollymead for their exceptional care throughout this last year.

The family will receive friends from 6:00 pm-8:00 pm on Tuesday, March 12, 2024 at Teague Funeral Service, 2260 Ivy Rd. Charlottesville, VA 22903. A funeral service will be held at 11:00 am on Wednesday, March 13, 2024 at Teague Funeral Service in the Chapel with Pastor Chris Long presiding. The family will travel to lay Ralph to rest in Culpeper National Cemetery in a private burial.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests you consider making a donation in Ralph’s honor to the Lake Monticello Rescue Squad or Veterans Organizations of your choice.