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1946 - 2017 Obituary Condolences
HERGERT, Ralph M. Jr. Of Somerville, greatly loved by a wide circle of family, friends, and community, died on October 15, 2017, after living with Alzheimer's disease for over ten years. From 1987-2005, Ralph was pastor of the Grace Baptist Church in Somerville. From 1990-2001, he also served as the director of human services for the city of Somerville under Mayor Mike Capuano. In that position he started the city's Human Rights Commission, led the Count on Me campaign, and was an active member of the interfaith group that initiated the city's Martin Luther King Jr celebrations. After he was diagnosed with Alzheimer's, Ralph spoke about the disease in a feature for WBUR, which was nationally aired on NPR, in a video for the , and on numerous panels. At each stage of the disease, Ralph took on the challenges he could, singing in the 2009 Christmas Revels and in the Old Cambridge Baptist Church choir, fundraising for President Obama when he could no longer work as a city official, greeting church visitors when he could no longer preach. A graduate of the University of Chicago, Ralph attended Harvard Divinity School and Andover Newton Theological School. Ralph was born in 1946, the son of Ralph M. Hergert and Earline Hergert. He is survived by his wife of 50 years, Leslie, and daughter Jesse, both of Somerville; his mother Earline, brother Dennis and sister-in-law Judy of San Diego; his church community of Old Cambridge Baptist Church; and many friends and neighbors in Somerville and beyond. A memorial service will be held at Old Cambridge Baptist Church, 1151 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge on Nov. 4 at 10:00 a.m. Please consider making a donation in Ralph's name to the Old Cambridge Baptist Church or the . For more information please visit dohertyfuneralservice.com.
Published in The Boston Globe on Oct. 22, 2017
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