Ralph Odell Ellen, II

October 18, 1942 - August 26, 2007
Ralph Odell Ellen, II


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.


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  • August 28, 2007
    Debbie Tate says:
    Ralph was a wonderful person and friend. I can't remember how many times he saved our company with computer problems, somehow he always managed to make the time to be helpful. I always enjoyed listening to his stories of his travel and of his life, he had another gift as a story teller, he definetly could make you laugh and smile. His cooking was wonderful and he was the first to introduce me to Redeye gravy, when it came to gardening he was an expert as well, I will miss you Ralph

  • September 04, 2007
    Jennifer Wright says:
    My sincere condolences go to the family of Ralph. Jennifer Wright Criminal Clerks Office

  • September 04, 2007
    Ellen Talton Marlow says:
    We will miss you Ralph, I last saw you during the Talton's 4th of July family reunion about 9 years ago and I thought then that you were thought of as much of a Talton as you are a Ellen. We all know where I got my name from. You will be missed. My heart goes out to Betty and all that knew and loved you. Love Ellen

  • September 03, 2007
    Debbie Edmundson RN says:
    Dear Mrs. Ellen and Liz: On behalf of the entire staff on your home away from home on 8 South, I would like to send our condolences on the loss of your beloved husband and father. When we heard of his passing, all the girls were telling "Mr. Ellen" stories all day. I remember how he would come up to visit us, even when he wasn't sick! We enjoyed his company and listening to all of his stories. And who could forget ol' "Hard Life?" We were all inspired by his courage, and the deep love shared by your family. Liz, good luck on nursing school! You will be an awesome nurse. See the profound impact the patient's have on you? It's a great and rewarding career! We will never forget your beautiful Daddy. Thinking of you during this time of profound loss. Debbie Edmundson RN and the 8 South crew

  • September 03, 2007
    Barbara and Craig Bonifant says:
    Scott and family, we were sorry to get the news from Brian that your Dad had passed. Our thoughts and prayers are with you.