In Memoriam: Betty Jane Ralph


This obituary was written by Mrs. Ralph’s family and reprinted with permission.

Betty Jane Ralph departed from this life quietly in her home on Friday, Nov. 5, 2010 after an extended illness.

She was born in Pittsburgh to Lee and Florence McCormick and educated in the Pittsburgh Public School System. In 1946 Betty Jane married Arthur J. Ralph, and from that union, seven daughters were born. Betty Jane was happily married to Arthur for 64 years. She was a loving wife, devoted mother, loyal friend and worked tirelessly for the betterment of the Manchester community.

Betty Jane worked for United Laundry, North Laundry, Wolverine Toy Factory, Central Maintenance Company and Federal Enamel Stamp Company. She also worked for the Pittsburgh Housing Authority and the Urban Redevelopment Authority of Pittsburgh from 1965 until 1973.

Mrs. Ralph was affiliated with numerous organizations including the Pittsburgh Historic Landmark Foundation, Pittsburgh Community Reinvestment Group, Urban League Parent Reinforcement Program, Northside Leadership Conference, Bidwell High Rise and Manchester Reunited Association Inc.

Along with church leaders, community activists, and other neighborhood groups, she helped establish Manchester Citizens Corporation in 1962. For 22 years she served as Chairman of the Board.

Mrs. Ralph was the recipient of numerous awards for her outstanding community service. Betty Jane has served the Manchester Community for over 40 years in many capacities and endeavors. She was truly a role model and set a fine example of how to do things right. Betty Jane was a former member of Allen Chapel A.M.E. Church and a member of Bidwell Presbyterian Church, where she served as an elder.

Betty Jane leaves to cherish her memory her loving and caring husband, Arthur J. Ralph; seven daughters (LaMonte Davenport, Charmaine C. Ralph, Michelle R. Brown, Yvonne Ralph, Denise M. Dockett, Debra Ralph and Averil M. Ralph); adopted son Stanley Lowe; sister Leona McCormick; brother Richard “Butch” McCormick; four grandchildren, four great-grandchildren, many nieces and nephews, a host of loving relatives and many, many friends.

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