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January 25, 2013

Ralph Richard 'Rick' Elam

Ralph Richard ‘Rick’ Elam

NORTH NORWICH — Ralph Richard “Rick” Elam, 68, of North Norwich, passed away on Jan. 18, 2013, at home with his wife, Susan, by his side.

He was born and raised in Camden, N.J., the oldest of two sons born to the late Hazel (Frye) Elam Maxwell and Ralph Monroe Elam.

Rick lived in the Norwich area since 2001, after he was hired by Broome Developmental Services, Chenango Regional Center as a psychologist. He retired from NYSOPWDD as a Psychologist II in February 2012.

He was diagnosed with Merkel Cell Carcinoma, an aggressive skin cancer, in April 2012. He received treatment locally and at Dana Farber Cancer Institute in Boston.

He is survived by his wife, Susan Kowsky; his children, Meegan (Steve) Elam Wood of Plattsburgh, Ethan Z. (Pauline) Elam of Seattle, Wash.; his brother, Ken Elam and sister-in-law Shannon, who live and work in Seattle, Wash.; grandchildren, Kya and Braedan of Plattsburgh and Gavin and Hudson of Seattle. Also surviving is Meegan and Ethan’s mother, Peggy Cameron of Plattsburgh; stepchildren, Matthew and Mariesa Coppola of Saratoga Springs; nieces, Fiona (Jeff) Yates of Seattle and their children, Elle and Bryne, and Claire (John Urdal) Elam and their children, Carter and Mason. Also surviving are brother and sister-in-law, Carm and Charles Kowsky of Williamsport, Pa., and their children, Christina (Dave) Bebe and Cassandra (Mike) McKeon; brother and sister-in-law, Kathy and J. Alan Kowsky of Halfmoon, and their children, Amanda (Leonard) Billings and Alicia Kowsky.

Rick graduated from Muhlenberg College in Allentown, Pa., in 1996, majoring in psychology. He earned his doctorate in psychology from the University of Maine in Orono, Maine, in 1973, after doing an internship in Hawaii.

He loved working with the developmentally disabled and was always encouraging people to be all that they could be.

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