Ralph Parker Van Woert died at the age of 101 on June 12, 2018 after a brief stay in Wake Robin’s Linden Care Residence in Shelburne, Vt. A resident of Wake Robin for nearly 10 years, he was active and independent up to the time of his death.
Ralph was born in Albany, N.Y. and lived in upstate New York for more than 90 years before moving to Vermont. He graduated from Albany High School and studied accounting and business at Russell Sage and Albany Business Colleges.
He joined the New York Power Corporation in 1938, but his business career was interrupted by World War II. Commissioned a 2nd Lieutenant, he arrived in North Africa with the 214th Gun Battalion in April 1943. His unit advanced with Gen. George Patton’s Army through Sicily, Corsica, southern France, the Bulge, Germany, and the liberation of Dachau. Ralph was discharged in 1945 with the rank of Captain. Returning home, his management work with the power company took him and his family throughout upstate New York: Hudson, Ticonderoga, Gloversville, and Albany. He served as a director of the City National Bank in Gloversville, and Executive Vice President of the Capital Region Chamber of Commerce in Albany among other boards and positions.
Ralph was predeceased by his wife of 67 years, Ruth Goeldner Van Woert, and their daughter, Nancy Van Woert Langer. He is survived by his sons: Edward (Ned) Van Woert and his wife Katherine (Kay) Van Woert of South Burlington, Vt., and James (Jim) Van Woert and his wife Suellen McMillen of Lake Placid, N.Y.
Ralph leaves four loving and supportive grandchildren and their families: Kristen Van Woert Connolly and Elisabeth (Els) Van Woert in Vermont; Heidi Langer Atkinson in New York; Jason Langer in California, and six great grandchildren. He is also survived by his beloved companion and partner for nearly a decade, Kathryn (Kit) Wilson, and her family.
Ralph will be remembered for his love of family and friends, commitment to work, ability to evolve and adapt, and his wicked tennis shots. He was an avid gardener, preserver of food, skier, golfer and cook. Later in life Ralph enjoyed walking, growing and drying flowers, and creating gorgeous arrangements for his family and friends. He loved to travel. Ralph and Kit celebrated his 100th birthday by taking a cruise up the Mississippi. Among his last words were, “I’ve had a great life.”
A memorial service at Wake Robin will be scheduled at a later date. Those who wish may make a contribution in Ralph’s memory to the VNA Hospice Program, 1110 Prim Road, Colchester, VT 05446 or to the charity of their choice.