Ralph J. Morley
ONEONTA — Ralph Jesse Morley, 91, passed away Thursday, Jan. 10, 2013, at home peacefully with his loving family at his side.
He was born Dec. 1, 1921, in Hancock, the seventh son of Frank and Carlotta (Hulbert) Morley.
Ralph and Bea Favreau met in the spring of 1941, and they were married on Oct. 25, 1941, in Sidney. They lived their first few years in Sidney before making their home in Oneonta.
World War II broke out shortly after they were married, and Ralph went to work at the Scintilla defense plant in Sidney.
Ralph enlisted in the U.S. Army in 1944, serving during World War II in central Germany with the 9th Army 171st Combat Engineers. He was honorably discharged in 1946.
After his military service, he returned to Scintilla for a time. Then, for a number of years, he owned a produce distribution business, the Delaware Fruit Co., based on Market Street, Oneonta. Ralph had a fleet of trucks that hauled fruits and vegetables. While he owned the produce business he built many cabinets, like his father and grandfather.
Eventually, Ralph established Ralph J. Morley Construction Co. Inc. Ralph’s style put his signature on many unique custom homes prominently Suncrest Terrace, Ravine Parkway and Cooperstown Lake Homes and commercial projects, such as The Townhouse, Oasis Motor Inn, the offices in Wilber Bank, Astrocom and Northrups. He also built the covered bridge at Oneonta Country Club.
Once Ralph retired in 1983, he pursued his love of painting and became a master woodcarver. He took great pride in donating “The Alter of Angels” to St. Mary’s Church, the late Rev. Paul Roman and all parishioners. Ralph was an avid golfer, making three holes in one. He traveled afar to hunt, fish and golf. He was a sharpshooter, having won several awards from Empire State Rifle and Pistol League. He also had his pilot’s license. He devoted unconditional love to Bea and family. His greatest passion in life was his family; always finding time to enjoy a dance with his beloved wife, spending time with his children and playing the harmonica with his grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
He was a member of St. Mary’s Catholic Church and a board member of the Oneonta Country Club.
He is survived by his devoted wife of 71 years, Beulah “Bea” Morley; sons, Terry (BettyAnn Stuhl) Morley, Brad Morley (partner Steven King) and Randy (Ellen Lyons) Morley, all of Oneonta; a daughter, Darlene “Rikki” (Jesse) Saunders, of Cochranville, Pa.; grandchildren, Chris (Barbara Magnan) Morley of Bangor, Maine, Terry R. (Audrey Bamberg) Morley of Highland Park, N.J., Kevin (Heather Layton) Morley of Centreville, Va., Julie (Mike) Himes of Otego, Jennifer (Mark) Freels of Ashland, Mass., Heather (John) Saia of Hamilton, N.J., Ryan Morley of Oneonta and Carmen (Marin) Lemon of Salt Lake City, Utah; 12 great-grandchildren; and many nieces and nephews.
He was predeceased by a son, Gary Robert Morley and a granddaughter, Shauna Nicole Morley, along with nine brothers and one sister.
Calling hours will be 5 to 7 p.m. on Sunday, Jan. 13, at the Lewis, Hurley & Pietrobono Funeral Home, 51 Dietz St., Oneonta.
The funeral Mass will be 10:15 a.m. on Monday, Jan. 14, at St. Mary’s Catholic Church, 39 Walnut St., Oneonta, with the Rev. David W. Mickiewicz, celebrant.
Interment with military honors will be held in the Prospect Hill Cemetery in Sidney later.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Catskill Area Hospice and Palliative Care, 1 Birchwood Dr., Oneonta, NY 13820.
Expressions of sympathy may be made to, www.lhpfuneralhome.com.
Arrangements are under the guidance of the Lewis, Hurley & Pietrobono Funeral Home, 51 Dietz St., Oneonta.