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Ralph Frederick Metcalfe

July 30, 1930 ~ July 16, 2017 (age 86)

The Piano Brothers
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Metcalfe, Ralph Frederick

Webster


Ralph Frederick Metcalfe, 86, of Webster New York, passed away peacefully during a bright, 6am, morning sunrise on Sunday, July 16th, 2017, with family by his side.  Born in Webster, NY on July 30th, 1930, to Ward and Katherine Metcalfe, he lived much of his childhood years working hard on a family-owned apple, peach, and vegetable farm located on 5-Mile Line Road.  Ralph attended Holy Trinity Parochial School from 1936 to 1944, and graduated from Webster High School in 1948.  He served in the National Guard for 8 years and was honorably discharged in 1956, attaining a rank of Corporal. 
Ralph is survived by his dedicated wife Barbara of 62 years, loving daughters Lora (Andrew) Sprague, Janel (Kris) Walker, Jeri (David) Seils, and sons David (Robin) Metcalfe, and Mark (Kathy) Metcalfe.  He is also survived by his close sister Lois Bircher of Clearwater, Florida, 15 grandchildren and 8 great-grandchildren, as well as many loving nieces, nephews and friends. 
Ralph was a successful and dedicated salesman and self-starter businessman, working from his home on Paddy Lane in Ontario, NY for the National Grange Insurance Company as a claims adjuster, Empire Mutual Insurance as a special agent, and finally as a regional insurance salesman working for Universal Underwriters Company responsible for insuring multi-million dollar car dealerships throughout central New York while at the same time starting several local businesses, such as Bethany Trailers in Webster, NY as well as opening an Abbott's Custard franchise restaurant on route 104 in Ontario, NY.  After retiring from his insurance job and moving with his wife Barbara to Sandy Creek, NY in 1986, Ralph continued to work throughout his first retirement, running the Syracuse Automobile Auction as well as purchasing and managing the Town and Country Mobile Home park located in Pulaski, NY.  He served in a wide variety of volunteer and non-profit organizations and environmental groups throughout his lifetime, such as the president of the Campers and Hikers Association, Fund Drive Chairman for the Webster YMCA, President of the Pulaski Chamber of Commerce, delivered food to the elderly and disabled through the Wayne County Meals on Wheels organization, and a member of the Friends of Sandy Pond Association that was instrumental with restoring and maintaining the sandy dune beaches on eastern Lake Ontario as well as to preserve the natural bird habitat of this region for future generations to enjoy.  After retiring from his second retirement by selling both businesses, Ralph and Barbara moved back closer to their roots and family near Brantling ski slopes in Lyons, NY, purchasing a 1888 farmhouse located on top of a drumlin where Ralph was captivated and blessed with viewing spectacular sunrises and sunsets while enjoying numerous walks with his beloved dogs throughout their 62 acres of farmland. 
Ralph was a mischievous practical jokester by nature, devising and perpetrating many innocent pranks on family and friends alike, sending fictitious letters that were based on discreetly collected "inside" information that probably would have continued as fact to the guiltless recipient if it weren't for utilizing his wife Barbara's secretarial skills by rendering these letters on an old 1950's era typewriter that was easily identifiable to those who had the unfortunate experience of falling prey to a previous prank, only to be revealed later by the family member and/or so-called friend who was guilty of being coerced in providing the inside information to Ralph in the first place. 
Ralph's adventurous lifestyle extended beyond the practical jokes into the hiking and camping realm, taking his entire family out west for a month of travel in a pop-up RV trailer, visiting Yellowstone, Yosemite, Grand Canyon, Badlands, Grand Teton, and Rocky Mountain national parks along the way.  He loved to camp with his children and grandchildren throughout his life, purchasing a larger Hi-Lo pop-up travel trailer that would be used on annual trips to the Adirondacks for week-long excursions to Limekiln Lake, Rollins Ponds, and Saranac Lake Islands state campgrounds, always ready for an impromptu hiking adventure to an unknown scenic mountaintop or secluded waterfall.  His self-made corny jokes were some of the best told around the campfire and were always a hit with the grandchildren (who probably understood them more than their parents, who typically just rolled their eyes in disgust).  As a result, Ralph's love for the outdoors were passed along to each of his children and grandchildren, with many still actively involved in camping and likewise becoming hiking enthusiasts themselves, notably inspiring one grandson to walk the entire ~2200-mile Appalachian Trail several years ago.  
The Metcalfe family would like to extend an invitation to all family and friends to join us on Saturday, July 29th, at 11am at the Living Word Assembly of God located at 2344 Ridge Road, Ontario, NY to celebrate Ralph's "Celebration of Life" memorial service.  Following the service, please join us for a lunch buffet and dessert to share your memories of Ralph with his family. 
As an added incentive, Ralph loved peaches, reminiscing of old times on his childhood farm during his younger teenage years where he and his brother Ward Junior would load the family's 1940-era truck with numerous varieties of hand-picked peaches from their farm in the early morning hours before sunrise and travel with his father to the public farmer's market located in Rochester, NY.  He always kept a keen eye out for when the peach season would begin and end, looking forward to anyone who would bring him his favorite dish to enjoy . . . and, July 29th just happens to be smack-dab in the middle of peach season in upstate NY. 
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations can be made to The Pines of Peace (hospice) facility located at 2378 Ridge Rd, Ontario, NY 14519, to provide financial support to this important organization. To light a candle, or leave a condolence, please visit www.murphyfuneralservices.com.

 


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