Ralph Ellis Swenson of Accord, NY, passed away unexpectedly on Thursday, January 26, 2012. He was 88 years old. Born on February 23, 1923 in Brooklyn, NY; he was the son of Carl Ellis and Elsa (Jorgren) Swenson.
Mr. Swenson was a decorated WWII Veteran of the United States Army with the 346th Infantry. He was honorably discharged in 1945 and later awarded the Bronze Star Medal for heroic and meritorious service. He was a life member of the Joseph Hassett VFW Post 686 in High Falls, a member of the Mendelssohn Club in Kingston and of NOFA-NY. Ralph was a faithful parishioner of the Kripplebush United Methodist Church.
Ralph graduated from Rutgers University and became a 4-H Agent in Orleans County, NY. On September 6, 1947, Ralph married the former Mary Watson in Bergenfield, NJ. He furthered his education at Cornell where he graduated with a Master of Science Degree. Following graduation Ralph taught Vocational Agriculture in Jordan, NY until 1956 where he went on to teach at Floral Park High School in Long Island before settling with his family in Accord in 1958.
Ralph worked at the Rondout Valley High School teaching General Science, Geology, Biology, Earth Science and Algebra until his retirement in 1981. During every aspect of his career Ralph felt it was important to bring his students on field trips whether it was for school or pleasure. Ralph had an extremely positive influence on his students and has remained in contact with many of them after retiring.
In addition to his wife Mary at home, Ralph is survived by his children; Mary May Schmidt and her husband Gary of Monticello, Kathleen V. Swenson of Pompano Beach, FL and Ralph Eric Swenson and his wife Rebecca of Accord, his grandchildren Daniel Glenn Schmidt and his wife Lili and Christopher Gregory Schmidt and his wife Lisa, great-grandchildren Megan and Wyatt and his sister-in-law Susemarie Swenson of Whitefield, NH.
Ralph was predeceased by his brother Roy A. Swenson.
Visiting will be held on Sunday, January 29th from 6-8 PM at H .B. Humiston Funeral Home, 30 42nd St. Kerhonkson. A Celebration of his life is scheduled for Monday, 10:30 am at the Kripplebush United Methodist Church. Burial will follow at Accord Rural Cemetery with military honors.
In lieu of flowers contributions may be made in Ralph's name to the Kripplebush United Methodist Church, 161 Kripplebush Rd., Stone Ridge, NY 12484