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Nyack Campus Community Remembers Ralph G. Ellenberger (1934-2014)

Posted by Deborah.Walker on Friday May 30, 2014

Beloved Nyack College Professor Emeritus, Ralph Gordon Ellenberger passed away on Tuesday, May 27, 2014. A true pillar of the campus community, his legacy as a man of integrity and compassion, is fondly remembered by an innumerable host of colleagues, friends, and former students.

After completing studies at The Missionary Training Institute, precursor of Nyack College, Dr. Ellenberger earned a BA at Wheaton College and an MA at the University of Chicago. He joined the Nyack College faculty in September 1973, where he served as department chair of Anthropology and Sociology. He retired in 1999.

Since retiring to Omaha in 1999, Ralph was active in the Dundee Presbyterian Church, sang in the choir, taught adult education, was a part of several Bible studies, served on the Session, shared teaching responsibilities with the pastors, was active in the Mariners group, and served on the Crescendo Concert Series Board. He enjoyed gardening, traveling, and spending time with his family. He particularly enjoyed returning to the Nyack Rockland campus for his 50th class reunion and kept in touch with many of his colleagues

Dr. Ellenberger is survived by wife, Dotty, who was a former Nyack College registrar. Their children who will also cherish his memory are :Laurie Rainoff (Brad), Jenny Ellenberger, and Brad Ellenberger (Holly); grandchildren: Emma and Olivia Rainoff, Allison and Meghan Ellenberger; brothers, Paul Ellenberger (Florine) and John Ellenberger (Helen); and a sister, Dorothy Emary.

Arrangements to celebrate his well-lived life are as follows:

The family will hold visitation hours on Sunday, June 1 from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. at Heafey-Heafey-Hoffmann-Dworak & Cutler Mortuary, 7805 West Center Road, Omaha, NE.

A memorial service will be held on Monday, June 2 at 11:00 a.m. at Dundee Presbyterian Church, 5312 Underwood Avenue, Omaha, Nebraska. A reception at the church will follow the memorial service. Internment will take place Monday, June 2 at 3:00 p.m. atWest Union Cemetery in Union, NE.

Gifts in memory and honor of Dr. Ellenberger can be directed to the Ralph G. Ellenberger Scholarship Fund at Nyack College, 1 South Blvd., Nyack, NY 10960.

The tremendous mentoring impact of Dr. Ellenberger on hundreds of Nyack students could not be more evident than one of his former students, Dr. David Turk, who today is Nyack/ATS vice president and provost. On the passing of his former professor, he said,” The entire Nyack community, and all of those who were incredibly touched by Ralph's presence among us, sends its deepest sympathies and respect. Ralph was truly one of God's rare creations."

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