In Memory

A. Laurence Ralph

Died from complications resulting from treatment for coronary sarcoidosis in 2010, Manchester, Maine.  Survived by his wife Stephanie.

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10/01/15 06:09 PM #1    

Russell McNish

He was a great team player on the BCC Soccer team.

10/02/15 07:32 AM #2    

Michael Gerver

I was close to Larry because we were both in Mr. Steele's AP physics class. We got in touch again starting in 1987, because we used to have reunions just of Mr. Steele's physics class, and he never missed one while he was still alive. Here is something Larry wrote before the 2007 reunion of Mr. Steele's class, about what he had been doing since B-CC. I'm sure he would be happy to have me post it here.

Here is a not so brief description of my life after HS.  It is not as exciting as many of yours but it has been fun.  I went to the Wharton School at Penn because it had a good wrestling team, was far enough from home so my parents would not drop in (I thought) and did not have a language requirement.  I took physics for non-science majors and found it so easy that I skipped most of the classes and still had a 100 average going into the final.   I got a B because the professor took off 10% for lack of class participation!!!  I met my future wife, Stephanie, my sophomore year and my grades went from a 1.9 to a 4.0.  It is amazing what a difference spelling the words correctly makes.   We got married after my junior year and have been happily married ever since. 
After college I decided to teach but did not have the courses so I moved to Maine thinking they would be so impressed with my Penn degree they wouldn't care that I only had 2 ed courses, wrong!!   I went back and got my certificate and taught 9thgrade business and 8th grade physical science in Walpole, Massachusetts.  Fours years later, with a 4 and a 1 year old, I moved to the Netherlands to teach 8 th grade physical science to very smart international students.  I taught in English in an American school but many of the students were international.  All of this was based on my HS physics and chemistry class.  Three years later, I moved to Bergen, Norway and over 2 years taught every subject and every grade except seniors, because they did not have any.  The school had 35 students and 7 teachers the second year.   I taught rock climbing, took the whole jr/sr high (7 students) above the Arctic Circle and even put on a play. 
Finally I decided I needed to settle down so I moved back to the states and enrolled in the Washington College of Law.  I had a ball, unlike most other law students.   After law school and after participating in an anti-nuke demonstration I joined the general counsel's office at the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission.  My most dubious achievement there was to stop a perfectly good nuclear plant from starting because of a legal flaw.   It was the only plant ever to be stopped for a legal flaw. 
After 2 years I moved back to Maine and have been here ever since.  I was a corporate counsel for the largest electric company and counsel for the state's only nuclear power plant.   But mostly I wrote or reviewed contracts, represented the company before the PUC, and advised the real estate department.  I retired 3 years ago.
All during my time in Maine, I volunteered with AFS Intercultural programs, a foreign exchange program for students and teachers.  I now do that about 50 hours a week, I just do not get paid.  That's wild since I went to Wharton to avoid languages.  My wife retired this June and we have been spending a lot of time with my older daughter and my 3 grand daughters, 4½, 1½ and ½.   They live in New Jersey near Manhattan.  My other daughter lives in Seattle and is an engineer and used to design special lasers and now designs medical equipment.  She is not married and no kids so I do not see her as often but we have a great time together.  
My prime memory from physics class was that it was right after lunch.  I tended to get sleepy after lunch and often fell asleep in physics class.   I had trained how to sleep in class without getting caught.  I even wrote an essay on the process for English but the teacher did not believe me until I showed him the next day.  Anyway, I chose a desk partner also named Larry so if Mr. Steele called on me and I was asleep, Larry would answer for me.   Larry also tended to fall asleep. Unfortunately, one day both of us were asleep and Mr. Steele spent some time lobbing chalk at us until we woke up.  At least now I can take a nap when I want. [Note: The other Larry was Larry Sudduth, who unfortunately also passed away, around October 2006. I posted something on him.--Mike]
In chemistry class, I remember my lab partner was also in physics and was very nervous about the next period's physics test.  He was pouring concentrated HCL from a 1 gallon jug and I was holding the tiny test tube he was trying to fill.   He tipped the jug all the way up and covered my arm with acid.  I couldn't stop laughing long enough to clean it up but it didn't cause any injury. 
My final memory is another role for Mr. Steele.  He also coached my wrestling team.  He was an excellent coach but I felt he really coached physics and taught wrestling because physics was his love.   It also became mine even though I did not make a career of it. 

10/24/15 12:35 PM #3    

Frank Gordon

I remember when Larry and Kenny Ralph came to BCC from New York.   Larry was a great guy.  He became one of the leaders on our wrestling team.  Senior year, he helped move the team from years of mediocrity to one of the best dual meet records in the county.  It was a remarkable team.  We had one of the highest academic averages of any student organization at BCC. There were few stars. Every week we found a new way to win.  Finally, we were put in our place by perennial wrestling power, Northwood.  It was a great season, and we'll always remember Larry for leading by example and being right in the middle of all of it.

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