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Obituary of Ralph A. Jones
Ralph A. Jones died on August 6, 2020 at the age of 91 in Ithaca. He was born to Ada (Holman) and Robert Allen Jones in Ridgewood, New Jersey, on April 22, 1929. Raised in Glen Rock, New Jersey and Hamilton, New York, he graduated from Phillips Exeter Academy in 1948, and Colgate University MCL in 1952. His college activities included membership in Phi Beta Kappa (academic fraternity), and Beta Theta Pi (academic fraternity). He chaired the Concert and Lecture Committee, the Campus Fund Drive, sang in the Four Mugs quartet, and graduated as an Air Force Second Lieutenant. Following his marriage to Jane DeWalt in July 1952, he spent two years active duty as part of the original faculty at the Air Force Pre-flight School in San Antonio, Texas. He proceeded to the Harvard Law School in 1954, graduating JD in 1957. He practiced law in the firm of Moser, Johnson and Reif in Rochester, NY, where he was also President of the Board of Urban Ministry of the Rochester Area Council of Churches, and was elected to the Colgate Alumni Corporation of Directors. He became a Trust Officer of the Lincoln Rochester Trust Company in 1960. He, in 1963, became Legal Counsel at Cornell University. In 1970 he became the Director of Development and Legal Counsel of Colgate University. In 1978 he became Vice-President for Development at Hobart and William Smith Colleges before returning to Cornell in 1983 as Director of Public Affairs at the College of Veterinary Medicine and then as Director of Planned Giving at Ithaca College before retiring in 1993. In 1994 he was elected to the Board of Education of the Ithaca City School District and was instrumental in organizing the Ithaca Public Education Initiative. He also served eight years in the GIAC Board of Directors, three years on the Board of the Foundation of the Tompkins Cortland Community College and six years on the Board of Cooperative Educational Services. He became actively involved in Ithaca Rotary Clubs (as a Paul Harris Fellow); City Club of Ithaca (Board, President and Music Maestro); Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War; West Hill Civic Organization; and Lifelong (Board and President). From his and Jane’s love of boating, he became active in the Ithaca Sail and Power Squadron, serving two terms as Commander. Ralph and his wife Jane, married for over 68 years, travelled extensively in Europe and the Caribbean and spent time visiting their three daughters Abigail Jones (Erik Bertelsen) of East Boothbay, Maine, Ellen Reeder (Kevin) of Geneva, NY and Liza Hards (Stephen) in New Jersey and grandchildren Christian, Drew, and Jane Bertelsen; Maximo, Giovanni, Dominic and Adeline Izold Diduro; Tyler and Dana Hards; and Jake and Emily Reeder and great grandchild, Liam Izold. A memorial service will be held at a later date. He will be buried in Hamilton, NY.
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