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Bernice R. (Welker) Ralph
May 12, 1938 ~ December 18, 2023 (age 85) 85 Years Old
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PORT ALLEGANY- Bernice R. Welker Ralph, 85, formerly of Port Allegany, PA passed away unexpectedly at her home in Challis, ID on December 18, 2023.
Born May 12, 1938, in Pittsburgh, PA, she was the daughter of Marcellus and Rose Mueller Welker. On December 26, 1959, she married Ralph R. Ralph in Distant, PA, who died Jan. 6, 2017. They were married for 57 years.
Bernice was a graduate of Redbank Valley High School in New Bethlehem, PA. She earned Bachelor of Science degrees in Elementary Education and Library Science from Clarion State Teachers College, and later returned to Clarion University where she earned a Master’s degree.
Mrs. Ralph taught in the Port Allegany Elementary School at various grade levels from 1964 until her retirement. The following year she returned to the school as a volunteer in the Accelerated Reading program, a position she held until 2014. She had a lifelong passion for books and for helping children develop a love of reading, which led her to also support programs such as Story Hour at the Port Allegany public library.
During her teaching career, Mrs. Ralph was active in PSEA and served for many years as a union representative. After retirement, she continued working on behalf of public educators as an active member of PSEA-Retired and PASR.
Mrs. Ralph was a member of the Port Allegany United Methodist Church. She was a participant and volunteer at the Senior Center. She lent support at school events such as choral and band concerts and, in spite of her dislike for camping, participated in the yearly fourth grade field trips to Sizerville Park.
Surviving are three daughters, Shaune Ralph of Port Allegany, Shana (Michael) Williams of Challis, ID, and Shalee (Eric) Crawford of Pittsburgh, PA; four grandchildren: Daniel Crawford, Rebecca Crawford, Zachary Williams and Caden Williams; two sisters, Rose Prosser of Pittsburgh, PA, Dorothy (Donald) Wells of Warren, PA; a brother, Bud (Nancy) Welker of Sugar Grove, PA; and many much-loved nieces and nephews and her 17-year-old Cairn Terrier, LuLu.
She was preceded in death by her parents, and husband, Ralph R. Ralph.
A joint memorial service will be held to celebrate the lives of Bernice and Ralph at the Port Allegany United Methodist Church at 11 a.m. Saturday, (January 6, 2023). A luncheon will follow in the church fellowship hall.
Memorials can be to one of the following organizations: S.W. Smith Library, Port Allegany United Methodist Church, Teacher’s Pet Rescue, Coudersport or The Hub Thrift Store & Community Center of Challis, ID.
Local arrangements are under the direction of the Switzer Funeral Home, Port Allegany.
Condolences can be made to: Shaune Ralph, 119 Katherine St., Port Allegany, PA 16743.