Ralph Harry McGregor died peacefully at his home on January 19, 2023, in the presence of family. He was born on November 8, 1937 the son of Gretna (Myers) and Harry A. McGregor of Kralltown, Washington Township.
He is survived by his five daughters, Ila (Matthew) Verdirame of Gettysburg, Jill McGregor of Pittsburgh, Kae (John) Palyo of Pittsburgh, Lin Alison McGregor of Princeton, NJ, and Mira (Kevin) Merritt of Cimarron, New Mexico.
Seven grandchildren, Jena Reinhart; Zachary (Lesley) Reinhart; Kayla Merritt, Ashleigh Merritt; McGregor Palyo, Emma Palyo, and Kody Merritt; and four great grandchildren, Ellie Racheim, Zoey Lin, David Lewis, and Lilian Ada.
Also surviving are in-laws: Wayne (Barb) Mummert, H. Jay (Joyce) Mummert, Larry (Yvonne) Mummert, Donald Mummert; Sam Thieret; Joyce Mummert and Delores Mummert, along with many treasured nieces, nephews, cousins, friends and neighbors.
In addition to his parents, Ralph was preceded in death by his beloved wife of 58 years Ada Mae Mummert; his brother Glenn (Lois) McGregor; two sisters Dorothy Edquist and Mary Ann Pentz; and in-laws, Richard (Marion) Mummert, Glenn Mummert, Earl Mummert; Dale (Isabel) Mummert; Helen (Mummert) Thieret; Kathy Mummert and a stillborn granddaughter, Deena Mae Merritt.
Ralph believed in faith, family, and farming. Throughout his life, he gave of himself, sharing his time and talents, for the greater good of all. Using his gifts as visionary, keen leader, and dedicated contributor, he toiled steadfastly to impact his communities of faith, education, agriculture, and public policy.
Ralph stewarded the gifts of God with a passionate love for family, friends, neighbors, church and community. He was a member of St. Paul’s Evangelical Lutheran Church, and participated in weekly Bible Study and worship. In his lifetime, he also served on church councils, visited shut ins, worked as a consultant for call committees, and engaged with local Mennonite farm families. Ralph was gregarious and there were no strangers in his life, only friends he had yet to meet.
Ralph was a 1955 graduate of East Berlin High School, earned an Associate of Arts Degree at York Junior College, and attended International Stockman’s School for eight years. Ralph, however, was also a student of the school of hard knocks; living was learning, farming was risk taking turned into perseverance, innovation, and progress; in the 80s, when small dairy farms were dying out, his was expanding.
He demonstrated educational leadership by service to the Dover Area School Board for 14 years with nine years as President. More recently, Ralph led the Washington Township Education Coalition, an effort endorsed by over 1400 residents who petitioned to change school districts in order to secure access to higher quality public education. This endeavor took over ten years to achieve resulting in a Commonwealth court decision upheld by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court; true testament to perseverance and sustained educational leadership efforts.
Ralph’s local service to his home in Washington township started in the 1960s, when he accepted the invitation to serve on the newly formed Washington Township Planning Commission and served as chairman. Consistently through the years, he supported election day activities and in 2017, he was elected to the Washington Township Board of Supervisors, a six-year post.
Ralph’s leadership and service went beyond Kralltown in terms of supporting farming and agricultural preservation. He served as Chairman of the Federal Land Bank Association of York, was Chairman of the York Farm Credit 1981-1992, and spent a total of eleven years serving the Baltimore Farm Credit District.
Ralph was awarded a local hero award for leadership efforts on the York County Agricultural Land Preservation Board; and also received the Chesapeake Bay Clean Water Farm Award from the York County Conservation District.
Reaching state and national level positions, Ralph served as chairman of the Pennsylvania Beef Council and in 1989, was appointed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture Cattleman’s Beef Promotion and Research Board.
After retiring, Ralph to support the Barbershop Harmony Society, actively singing with the Hanover and York Barbershop Choruses. Bringing delight and joy to many, Ralph’s quartet, Snak Pack, did singing Valentines and other engagements.
As they say, behind every great man, is a great woman. Ralph married his high school sweet heart Ada; they were two peas in a pod, a steadfast 58-year loving partnership. In 2015, Ralph and his wife Ada were awarded King and Queen of the 100th Dillsburg Farmers Fair for their dedicated support of helping refugees and immigrants.
All are invited to join family in honoring Ralph H. McGregor’s inspiring life.
Visitation will be on Monday, January 23 from 2-4 pm and 6-8 pm at St Paul’s Evangelical Lutheran Church 201 South Baltimore St. Dillsburg, PA 17019
Funeral Service with Holy Communion will be celebrated, Tuesday January 24 at 11 a.m. followed by luncheon served at the church. Internment at 4 p.m. in the Mummerts Church Cemetery (Mummerts Meetinghouse) 403 Mummerts Church Road Abbottstown, PA 17301
In lieu of flowers, contribution in Ralph’s name may be made to the Barbershop Harmony Society (https://www.barbershop.org/ ) or the Ralph and Ada Endowment at the East Berlin Community Library (https://www.adamslibrary.org/support-library/support-library) 105 Locust St. East Berlin 17316.
In addition, the best way to honor Ralph is to give of yourself and your time in service, take leadership positions and calculated risks; connect with people, sing and use humor to help make your communities, state and nation a better place for this and future generation. He would say “Right or wrong I am going to do something--if you have a passion and a commitment, you make the time.”