Ralph O. Ellen, II (CPO USCG, Ret) 64, of Wilmington and Carolina Beach passed away Sunday, August 26, 2007 at Lower Cape Fear Hospice.
He was preceded in death by his parents Ralph and Mildred Ellen.
Ralph is survived by his wife of 39 years, Betty W. Ellen of the home, daughter Elizabeth Keel of Leland, NC, son Scott Ellen and wife Penny, grandson and fishing buddy Nathan Ellen of Castle Hayne, NC, brothers John M. Ellen and wife Robbie of Fairfax Station, VA, Joseph L. Ellen and wife Donna of Sanford, NC and Jeffrey N. Ellen and wife Elizabeth of Charlotte, NC, sister in laws Margaret Lynn of Goldsboro, NC and Louise Kelly and husband Jimmy of Franklinton, NC, a host of nieces and nephews and his father’s widow, Pauline Ellen of Winston-Salem, NC.
Ralph was born October 18, 1942 in Winston-Salem, NC. As a young man, he achieved the rank of Eagle Scout. Following high school, he served for eight years in the US Air Force which included one tour of duty in Viet Nam. Upon his return from Southeast Asia, he left the Air Force and attended Holden Technical Institute, Raleigh NC, where he graduated with honors (ranked number two in the class) in Electronics Engineering. He joined Burroughs, Inc, which following a company merger became Unisys Corporation, and served over 20 years as a computer systems engineer. Following his and wife Betty’s move to Wilmington, NC, he joined the US Coast Guard Reserve, and after serving over 25 years, retired as a Chief Petty Officer. This culminated in over 33 years of military service in which he was awarded Air Force Commendation Medal, Army Good Conduct Medal, Air Force Good Conduct Medal, Coast Guard Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Medal, with bronze Star, Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, Viet Nam Service Medal, and Humanitarian Service Medal, Armed Force Reserve Medal, Republic of Viet Nam Medal, Rifle Expert Medal and Pistol Expert Medal. He later attended Shaw University and received a Bachelor of Science in Business Management; again graduating with honors for being in the top 2% of graduates. After retiring from Unisys, he served as a North Carolina Probation Officer for several years before becoming the Honorable Ralph O. Ellen, New Hanover County Magistrate. He retired from his Magistrate duties in Spring 2006. He spent his last days enjoying the hobbies he loved so much: spending time with wife, Betty and children, Scott and Elizabeth, and grandchild Nathan, fixing friend’s computers, fishing, gardening, hunting, cooking, woodworking, wine collecting and traveling.
He was a member of American Legion Post 10, BPOE Elks Lodge 532, NC Retired Magistrate’s Association, Buccaneer’s Gun Club and St. Paul’s United Methodist Church.
The family will receive friends from 4:00 – 8:00 PM today at St. Paul’s United Methodist Church, Harper Avenue, Carolina Beach, NC. A service to celebrate Ralph’s life will be 11:00 AM, Wednesday, August 29, 2007 at Pine Valley Baptist Church, 3940 Shipyard Blvd, Wilmington, NC.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the building fund at St. Paul’s United Methodist Church, PO Box 356, Carolina Beach, NC 28428.