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Ralph Ellis Swenson

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

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Guestbook

Rocki-Lee DeWitt - February 1st, 2012 at 6:13am - Email
My thoughts are with the family. From dissecting frogs to discussing gardening, Mr. Swenson grounded education. Biology was more than a course one took to go to college.

RITA SMITH DONAHUE - January 29th, 2012 at 3:52pm - Email
I WAS LUCKY ENOUGH TO HAVE THIS GIANT OF A MAN, AND A WONDERFULL TEACHER. HE INSPIRED ME TO BE WHAT I LOVE THE BEST IN HUMAN SERVICES, AND TO SHOOT FOR THE STARS, MR.SWENSON WILL BE THE ROCK OF RVC AND WILL BE MISSED . MY PRAYERS AND WARMTH FROM FAMILIES CO-WORKERS BE COMFORT OF A SWEATER FOR HIS FAMILY.

Carl Chipman - January 29th, 2012 at 2:34pm - Email
i was lucky enough to know Ralph as a teacher, customer, friend, and mentor (also sometimes as a playful tormentor). Ralph had the firmest handshake of any many I've ever met.He was a giant of a man who touched many of our community. He will be missed but we must realize how lucky we all were to have him in our lives. May God bless him with eternal peace and watch over Mary and the rest of the family as they deal with this enormous loss.

Mary Shaver Deyo - January 29th, 2012 at 1:05pm - Email
A man that helped so many people as a Teacher , friend, and neighbor. He will be greatly missed. My prayers go out to the family during this sad time.

Kathleen Wade - January 28th, 2012 at 12:20pm - Email
I was sorry to read of Mr. Swenson's passing.What a life! I have been flooded with memories all morning of his kindness to me and my friends in every class we took of his. What an outstanding man...it was a pleasure to have known him, been taught by him, and his legacy will live on forever in the RVHS. I will never forget him.

Ray Smith - January 28th, 2012 at 11:00am - Email
Ralph taught me Biology in 1974. He has been a friend ever since. I can thank Ralph for my love with deep sea fishing. One of his many field trips where it felt like you were going wit your father. He sparked my interest in wildlife, earth, and life in general. I can proudly say I knew him as not just a teacher, but as a friend.Now Ralph, you can finally retire.

Nov 30 0001 12:00 AM