David C. Ralph, Ph.D.

Age 91, of Lansing, MI, passed away November 6, 2013.  He was born January 12, 1922, in Muskogee, OK, to Earl and Rea Ralph.

David was a veteran of WWII, serving in the U.S. Navy as a navigator and a lieutenant from 1941 until 1945.  He received his AA degree from Muskogee Junior College in 1941, BS in Theatre from Northwestern University in 1947, MA in Theatre in 1948, and his PhD in Speech in 1950.  David worked at Indiana University, University of Missouri, Northwestern University before coming to the Lansing area where he became professor at Michigan State University in 1953, teaching speech and theatre until his retirement in 1996. He co-authored the book, “Group Discussion” which was published in 1954, and “Principles of Speaking” in 1962.  He also contributed several articles to professional journals.  David coached Little League Boys’ Baseball, was a member of Lansing Fire Department Box 23 and was named an honorary State Farmer by the Future Farmers of America.  He was the recipient of several awards from MSU, including:  a community service award presented by the MSU Senior Class Council, Outstanding Faculty Award, and Teaching Excellence Award.  David was a member of AAUP, Speech Communication Association, International Communication Association, Central States Communication Association, Omicron Delta Kappa, and an honorary faculty advisor with the Golden Key.  Above all else he was loved and admired by his students and his family.

Surviving are:  his wife of 65 years, Kathryn; sons, Randy and Steve, 5 grandchildren, Shelley, Dylan, Zack, Connor and Spencer.

A memorial service will be held at 11:00 a.m. Tuesday, November 19, 2013, at The Peoples Church of East Lansing, 200 W. Grand River, East Lansing, MI.  The family will receive friends at the church after the service. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Box 23 Associates, c/o Lansing Fire Dept., 120 E. Shiawassee, Lansing, MI  48933, in memory of Dr. David C. Ralph.  Arrangements by the Estes-Leadley Greater Lansing Chapel.

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John MeCollister
November 25, 2013 at 1:45 pm

Dr. David Ralph was one the most respected professors in the Department of Speech at Michigan State University. As one if his students in graduate school, I appreciated his ability to combine the theories of rhetoric and public address into real life, pragmatic situations. My heart goes out to his beloved “Katie” and the rest of the Ralph clan. He was the greatest.

John McCollister, Ph.D.
Las Vegas, NV


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