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Ralph Loeb

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Ralph Loeb Obituary
Ralph Loeb Jr., 88, passed away peacefully following a lengthy illness November 27th at his home in Austin with his loving wife, Ellen, at his bedside. Ralph was born June 1, 1925 in Montgomery, Alabama to Ralph and Rebecca Loeb. Three days after graduating in 1943 from Sidney Lanier High School he enlisted in the U.S. Navy eager to serve his country as an electrician's mate. At the end of the war, Ralph and his shipmates surveyed the ruins of Nagasaki on foot before heading home on the USS Hanson, grateful that the war had ended before a Japan invasion. He was discharged in May, 1946 and enrolled at the University of Alabama to study electrical engineering where he met Ellen Green of Bessemer, Alabama on a blind date. Ralph graduated on the anniversary of D-Day in 1950. After a one-year courtship, Ellen and Ralph were married on January 7, 1951 and soon filled their household with daughters Sharon and Janis. Ralph's career path culminated in the position of chief electrical engineer for the Montgomery firm of Sherlock, Smith and Adams, a 35-year career spanning from the slide rule era to the computer age. He was deeply involved in hospital electrical system design, a job that saw him work on military hospital projects worldwide. Ralph had a special rapport with his employees, who considered him an outstanding supervisor and close friend for life. He served as a national chairman of National Fire Protection Association committees and held other NFPA positions. Later he was honored with the Outstanding Fellow Award for Electrical Engineering from the University of Alabama for which he was most proud. Ralph was deeply involved in many community activities. He grew up a member of Temple Beth or and served on the board and many volunteer positions. He was active in the Family Sunshine Center's efforts for abused women and children and received its Golden Heart Award and Volunteer of the Year award. One activity Ellen and Ralph were especially proud of was serving as co-presidents of One Montgomery, a bi-racial community group dedicated to supporting racial equality in the South; another was their recognition by the Montgomery Area Council on Aging as Seniors of Achievement. Ralph and Ellen avidly followed University of Alabama football from Bear Bryant's era to today's national championship teams. They were long-time season ticket holders and enjoyed many trips to games in Tuscaloosa and Birmingham. Upon his retirement in 1990, Ralph and Ellen enjoyed travels to Nepal, China, India, Europe, South America and the Middle East. They often visited California, where they especially enjoyed the High Sierra Loop in Yosemite National Park. He also enjoyed more time for tennis and hiking closer to home. In 2002 they moved to Austin to be closer to family and joined Temple Beth Shalom. Left to cherish his memory include Ellen, his wife of 62 years; daughter Sharon Shackelford (Gil), San Jose, CA and daughter Janis Daemmrich (Bob), Austin; grandchildren Alison Hewitt (Heath), Los Angeles, Amy Shackelford, San Jose, Graham Shackelford, Tacoma, WA, Chris Daemmrich, New Orleans, and Robin Daemmrich, Austin; niece Judy Batlan Clack, Austin, and nephews Bob Batlan (Mary Lou) Austin and David Batlan (Janet), Gaithersburg MA; and many other nieces, nephews, cousins and friends. Special thanks to caregivers Joan Gray and Robert Chongwe for their devotion during Ralph's difficult times. A Memorial Service was held Friday, November 29, 2013. Memorial contributions can be made to Temple Beth, or the Family Sunshine Center, both in Montgomery. Memorials and guestbook online at www.wcfish.com

Published in the Montgomery Advertiser on Nov. 30, 2013
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