Community Gathers to Celebrate the Life of Ralph Regula '48
August 12, 2017
ALLIANCE, Ohio – “He was a man who loved his wife, his family, his farm and his country.”
That was simply one of the ways that Bill Blair, Esq. summed up the life of the late Ralph Regula ’48, retired United States Congressman, at the Celebration of Life for Ralph on Saturday, who passed away July 19 at the age of 92.
More than 250 people were in attendance at the event, held on campus at the Riggs Memorial Plaza, to share their condolences with the family and remember the life of the former Congressman, who served for 36 years.
Mount Union President Dick Merriman emceed the event and offered remarks of his own.
“Only being at Mount Union for two years, I didn’t know Ralph as well as many of you here today, but I can still say I had some memorable conversations with him in such a short time,” he said.
Martha was the oldest of Ralph and Mary’s (Rogusky ’48) children, and was the first to speak at the event.
“I didn’t get the public speaking gene, the political gene, or even the Republican gene,” Martha joked. “But everyone needs that person in the family to make Thanksgiving a little more interesting.”
She spoke about her father’s love of nature, and how much of her childhood adventures with her father and brothers was reflective of Ralph’s political style.
“He taught us not to be afraid of the woods, the dark, or the unknown,” she said. “He always radiated goodness and life and thoughtfulness.”
David Regula ’74, followed in the footsteps of his parents in graduating from Mount Union and shared the integral part the University played in his parent’s lives.
“Today we celebrate the life and the love he found on this campus at Mount Union,” David said. “Who knows, maybe my parents’ very first kiss was right beside us at the campus lakes.”
Former Congressman Dave Hobson was in attendance to celebrate the life of his friend and mentor. He was one of nearly a dozen current and former members of political office in attendance at the event.
“I’m pretty sure Ralph was the only person who parked an old pickup truck in a Capitol parking space,” Hobson said.
While the event maintained the spirit of life for which Ralph was known, the emotions of those in attendance were difficult to control at times, thus showing the impact Ralph had on countless people.
“Watching him campaign at the fair and talk to everyone gave me a role model for wanting to go into public service,” said Richard Regula, Ralph and Mary’s youngest son and Stark County Commissioner. “He was a true public servant who always just wanted to help people.”
Ralph’s dedication to his community was one of the reasons why the Ralph and Mary Regula Center for Public Service and Civic Engagement was founded at Mount Union in 2003.
“While others in Congress screamed and sought the spotlight at times, Ralph was always quietly working to get things done for the people he represented,” Blair said, who was the final speaker that afternoon.
Ralph and Mary were married an incredible 67 years, and their love shone brightly through the remarks of those who spoke at the Celebration of Life.
Ralph was a remarkable alumnus, supporter and friend of Mount Union, and he will be dearly missed. His legacy on campus is one that will be reflected by the generations of past, present and future students who have the ability to serve their own communities such as Ralph did for his entire life.