Ralph J. Ley, Retired Faculty, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, died on December 29, 2007. Professor Ley was a member of the German, Russian and Eastern European Languages Department.
Ralph J. Ley, 78, was the son of William and Katharine (Jaeger) Ley, German immigrants. He received a bachelors degree in philosophy and classical languages from St. Josephs Seminary and College in 1951, and M.A. (1958) and Ph.D. (1963) degrees in German from Rutgers University. During the Korean conflict, Dr. Ley served in the Army as a screener in West German refugee camps and was a graduate of the Strategic Intelligence School in Oberursel and also of the Tactical Intelligence School in Nuremberg. After his discharge, he taught Latin and German in Union and at Irvington, NJ, High School. In 1959, he became a German instructor at Rutgers Universityand in 1981 Dr. Ley was elected first chairperson of the Department of Germanic Languages and Literatures; he served in that capacity until 1990. He had numerous books and papers published, many collaboratively. With Dr. Robert Conard of the University of Dayton, he translated into English the complete poems of the German Nobel Prize winner Heinrich Boell and two of Bertolt Brecht's plays. Together with Rutgers colleague Dr. Joanna M. Ratyich and Dr. Conard, he translated "Dawn of Humanity," an anthology of 278 German poems compiled by Kurt Pinthus in 1919. Dr. Ley was also on many doctoral committees; the Middlebrook Regional Health Commission; the South Bound Brook Boards of Health, of Education and of Library Trustees; the Literary Volunteers of America; and Unico National. In 1988 and 89, he served as chair of the Academic Freedom Committee of the Rutgers Council of AAUP Chapters, and in 1994 and 1996 as chair of the Scholarship Awards Committee of the Italian Cultural Heritage Festival. He leaves behind his wife of 41 years, Teresa (Appezzato) Ley; their children, Mary V. Ley of Rockville, Md., and John M. Ley and with his wife, Jacqueline, of Scotch Plains; his sister, Rita and her husband, Arthur Spencer, of Wexford, Pa; three grandchildren, Elizabeth, Rachel and Phillip; and many nieces and nephews.
In lieu of flowers, family has requested donations be made to the Center for Hope Hospice, 1900 Raritan Road, Scotch Plains, N.J. 07076.
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