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Ralph M. Lulay
November 22, 1922 – August 5, 2012
 

Sublimity - Ralph Matthias Lulay was born at home in Sublimity, Oregon to Joseph and Clara Lulay, the sixth of seven children.  Ralph graduated from St. Boniface Grade School, attended two years at St Boniface High School and graduated from Mt. Angel Prep School at the Benedictine complex on the hill.  He returned to college there and received an Associate Degree.  From there he was taken into the Army Air Corps in March of 1943 after having enlisted in September of 1942 at 19 years of age.

His pilot training took place in the Southern Central Command.  He received his pilot’s silver wings in June 1944.  After further intensive training in fighter aircraft he was shipped overseas to England in March 1945.  He was assigned to the 434th Fighter Squadron in Wattisham, England to fly a P-51 Mustang.  After the European war ended, he was transferred to the 9th Air Force Service Command Headquarters, Transportation Division, in Erlanger Germany.  In July 1946 he was shipped back to the U.S. for discharge.

Upon his return to Sublimity, his marriage proposal to the auburn-haired girl who had lived up the street from his childhood home was accepted, and he and Marcella Gries married in September.  They built a house on Starr Street, which is still the family home, where they spent the next 40 years raising their family of seven.  Ralph was fully involved with his family, his church, his work and his community.  He was a member of St. Boniface Church his entire life, and sang in the men’s choir for many years.   At 18 he joined the Knights of Columbus and was a lifelong member.  During the years he served as Grand Knight, District Deputy, and six years as Chairman of State K of C committees.  He served as a member of the City of Sublimity Council for 23 years, 14 of them as mayor.  During his tour, the city sewer system was installed. 

Ralph played baseball for the “town” team of Sublimity.  He was proud of the fact that, as a pitcher, he once struck out 17 batters in one game!  And as to golf, he loved the game and played often.  He did considerable work on the development and construction of the Santiam Golf Course.

Following the sale of the Sublimity Building Supply, a successful business venture he started with John Mackie, Ralph worked for Lulay Bros. Lumber Co., in Scio in charge of dry kilns and large sheds construction.  The mill was sold in 1967 and for a couple of years he did carpentry work.  He then went to work for Frank Lumber Co., Inc. in Mill City, in quality control and as a heavy equipment operator.  He enjoyed the variety of duties that his skills and talents allowed him to do.  He officially retired in 1991 at the age of 70.

Ralph was a man with many talents and interests and spent endless hours helping with family and community projects over his lifetime, often having several projects going on at the same time.  He was a gifted carpenter, a draftsman and designer, a mason, a gardener, a landscaper, an equipment operator, a golfer, an artist, a singer, and a storyteller.  Ralph fully supported the Catholic Church and made it a priority to provide a Catholic education for his children.  He was an enthusiastic “founding father” of Regis High School – serving as co-chairman of the building committee from breaking ground to providing input on the design of the school facilities and sports fields.  Ralph will be remembered and missed by his family and friends… for the example he set, the wisdom he imparted, the faith he instilled and the the stories he shared.

Ralph is survived by Marcella, his devoted wife of 66 years, and their seven children: Tim of Sublimity; Terry (Dicki) of Morris Plains, NJ; Danita (Don) Heuberger of Sublimity; Marla (Dennis) Mack of Sublimity; Lisa (Mike) Nielson of Stayton; Bart of Sublimity; and Carmel (Tyler) McClung of Salem; 20 grandchildren, 18 great grandchildren and sister, Marie Weis of Stayton.

Recitation of Rosary will be Monday, Aug. 13 at 7:00 pm and Mass of Christian Burial will be Tuesday, Aug. 14 at 11:00 am, both at St. Boniface Catholic Church in Sublimity. Interment will be in St. Boniface Cemetery in Sublimity. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to St. Mary Grade School / Regis High School in Stayton. Serving the family, North Santiam Funeral Service, Stayton.

 

 


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