Longtime Wekiva Presbyterian Church members will remember Ralph and Louise Humphrey, who joined this church in 1987, having moved to the Village on the Green from Leesburg at that time. For many years, they were actively involved in the ongoing life of the congregation, in worship and other activities. Ralph died in 2000 at age 90; Louise died in April of this year at the age of 98. More recent members of the congregation probably never had an opportunity to know either of them. It is, we think, appropriate to say a few words about Ralph and Louise, at this time.
Ralph Calvin Humphrey was born in Butler County, Pennsylvania, the son of J. Roy and Nellie Humphrey. He was a 1937 graduate of Geneva College, in Beaver Falls, PA. A longtime employee of the New Castle School District, Ralph taught metal shop at the senior high school. Louise Studebaker Humphrey was the daughter of James J. and Jessie M. Gilfillan Studebaker. She lived much of her life in New Castle, Pennsylvania, graduated with honors from high school in Tarentum, PA, and received a bachelor's degree from Westminster College, New Wilmington, a PC(USA) related college. Louise was an elementary teacher of English, speech and drama for 38 years and a directing teacher for Slippery Rock University of Pennsylvania. She inspired and motivated her schoolchildren by her love for and interest in them, was active in various organizations of the Presbyterian Church, and served as an officer in the Woman's Club.
Ralph and Louise had no children of their own. They were not related to anyone else in the Wekiva Presbyterian congregation, or in Central Florida. Louise was survived by nieces and nephews, all of whom live in the northeast.
Ralph and Louise made a conscious choice to remember the ones they loved in their wills; Wekiva Presbyterian Church was among their loved ones. After her death, the church learned that Louise and Ralph had made provision for the congregation they were so much a part of, as if we were one more of their nephews and nieces. They directed that twenty per cent of their estate be given to Wekiva Presbyterian Church.
In December of 2000 a service in memory of Ralph occurred, and in April of this year a service in memory of Louise was held—each time, in Slippery Rock, Pennsylvania. Today, we are remembering Ralph and Louise in Longwood, Florida—giving thanks for their lives, as well as their gracious generosity to those who will come after them in this place of worship, learning and service in Jesus’ name.
It may be that you are thinking about drawing up your own will. May the example of Ralph and Louise Humphrey serve to inspire you, as you do.