Ralph Barton Clare of Elizabethtown, resident of the Masonic Village, passed away peacefully on October 18, 2018. Ralph was born in Philadelphia in 1932, the fourth of five children of the late Hamilton and Anna Clare. Ralph is survived by his wife of 15 years, Patricia; his daughter and son-in-law Kimberley and Andrew Barber of Leesburg, VA; and Pat’s son and daughter-in-law, Greg and Mel Kulp of Manheim, PA, and their daughter, Shaina.
Following his service in the US Army as an MP, Ralph attended Temple University where he earned a degree in mechanical engineering. Ralph worked as a project engineer for the Scott Paper Company and its successor companies for many years. He designed and built production lines for paper and foam products in plants across the United States.
For nearly twenty years, Ralph and his first wife, the late Joan Clare, owned and operated the Ice Cream Inn restaurant with locations in Whitemarsh Township, PA, and Sea Isle City, NJ.
After moving to the Masonic Village, Ralph became active in the Roosters Woodshop and served as its president for a number of years. During his tenure, the woodshop’s membership and facilities grew significantly. Ralph was a self-taught carpenter, using his engineering skills to design furniture pieces and create the plans and drawings for them. Over the years, Ralph designed and built three libraries in the homes of his daughter. Ralph also created stained-glass panels and furniture insets.
Ralph was a man of faith and an active participant in his churches. He served as a vestryman and Rector’s Warden for many years at Trinity Church, Oxford, in Philadelphia. Following his marriage to Pat, Ralph joined Trinity Lutheran Church, Colebrook, where he contributed a number of woodwork items to the church. Ralph was a 32nddegree Mason and a past member of the Shrine.
The family thanks all Ralph’s and Pat’s friends who called and visited during his time in the Healthcare Center, and we thank the staff for the kind care they provided.
A memorial service for Ralph will be held on Wednesday, October 24, 2018, at Trinity Lutheran Church, Colebrook, 58 Church Road, Manheim, PA 17545. The service will be held at noon, followed by a fellowship and reception at the church. Contributions in Ralph’s memory made be made to Trinity Lutheran Church.
Arrangements entrusted to Miller-Finkenbinder Funeral Home & Crematory, Elizabethtown. Memories and condolences may be shared at www.FinkenbinderFamily.com