Gleaned from cards, notes or calls received by Ruth—

RALPH was a joy to know--for his strong ethical sense, for his exercise of his keenly felt sense of duty for the greater good, for his marvelous sense of humor and awareness of the ridiculous as we meet it in everyday life, for his love of music of the 30’s and 40’s, for his love of his church, and for his keen intellect.

Mary Louise Trusdell

It was an honor for me to have known Ralph through all these years and I am much better for it.

Bill Hamilton

The flow of memories for me is rich and many, and, without exception put a smile on my face.

John Robertson

We will always remember Ralph with fondness and laughter—a man so loving and kind to his fellow man, glowing with God’s love.

Barbara and Emmett Kelly

Ralph—one of the best men we have ever known. He had convictions, leadership skills, personality, character, and such a sense of humor! We were honored and grateful to have Ralph in our lives.

Mickie and Wendall Poore

What a delightful man he was—one of the rare people who could make a whole room full of people feel better and, behave better, just by his presence. (Ex. Vestry meetings) Someone once said, “I’ve learned to listen when Ralph speaks because it is always worth hearing.” And the best thing—he never took himself too seriously—that twinkle in his eye was never far away.

Missy Rogers Penser

Ralph worked hard and he expected the same from others. When Ralph asked for help with church work, he always expected the best from everyone. It caused you to do your best so Ralph wouldn’t be disappointed.

Tommy Robertson

Ralph was always cracking some quirky joke and he carried this boyish smile as if he was just waiting for someone to get the punch line. It was easier to laugh at Ralph’s smirk and squinty eyes than to laugh at the joke. He was a funny person and had a way of lighting up the room. Also, Uncle Ralph had a quiet strength to him—you could almost cut it with a knife.

John Haynes (Ruth’s nephew)

Uncle Ralph was always positive and supportive.

Roger Rose (Ralph’s nephew)

Uncle Ralph was such a “fun” guy. I loved just being with him.

Cherrie Haynes (Ruth’s niece)

Ralph was an example of wisdom and support through many ups and downs at Good Shepherd church.

Carol Daly

The memorial service for Ralph was so good—uplifting and healing. What a special man he was and will continue to be in the minds of many.

Gail Swineford

Doing the service for Ralph was an honor and a privilege God has provided me to perform.

Rev. Dick Budd


I remember his impish look, chuckle and sparkling eyes.

Nancy Griffin Welch

I remember Ralph’s patience while teaching Sunday school at Good Shepherd Church.

Kathy Lehman

I remember his great sense of humor and his compassion for the children in the community.

Debbie Noland

I remember Ralph mowing the lawn at Good Shepherd Church holding his coffee cup in his hand. Only Ralph could manage that.

Cindy Stock

I will always remember Ralph ‘s wonderful sense of humor and his high –test coffee.

Maggie Southwick

I remember Uncle Ralph as a bit of a wild man—very funny and such a dear, wonderful human being—a real sweetheart.

Little Frone (Ralph’s niece)

I remember Ralph as a bit of a rascal. But he was also humble, kind, witty and a servant of Christ—a role model.

Val Bowman

For many years Ralph attended the Men’s Prayer Group every Thursday morning at Good Shepherd. I remember that Ralph’s prayers always expressed deep thankfulness for his life and especially for his wife, Ruth.

Rev. Mario Gonzalez (Memorial Service)

I will always remember Ralph’s kindness in inviting my son Fen to the Father /Son breakfast at Good Shepherd.

Eleanor Bradford

(Fen Bradford ‘s father died suddenly when Fen was about 10 years old. The annual Father/Son breakfast was held shortly after that tragedy.)

I will always be grateful to Ralph for his thoughtfulness in taking my son Bill fishing. Bill really loved Ralph.

Caroline Robertson

(Sage Robertson died suddenly from a heart attack leaving 3 young children. Ralph learned that young Bill liked to fish, so he invited Bill to accompany him on his fishing expeditions.)

I will always remember Ralph coming to our home Christmas morning to see what Santa had brought Andrew.

Kathy Gillette Lehman

(Holmes Gillette was killed in a tragic auto accident. Holmes’widow, Kathy, and baby Andrew lived across the street from the Lunds on Caledonia Road. After Ralph’s sons were grown up, Ralph felt lost at Christmas. He wanted to see little ones playing with their new toys under the Christmas tree. Ralph loved playing with little Andrew.)

I always remember Ralph as the host of many Crab Pickings, and neighborhood parties in his back yard. Even when rain came, the parties did not end. Rather, all the kids were invited into the house (“We’ll clean up tomorrow”). At Christmas Ralph made his famous “Glug” and invited everyone to drop by for a “cup of Glug”.

Bill Daly; Frank Lehman (Memorial Service)

I remember the Lunds as the first people we met at Good Shepherd Church. My wife Aimie, knew of Ruth professionally (teacher of dyslexic students)) and seemed a bit intimidated at meeting Ruth. I mentioned this to Ralph and he replied, “Your wife is intimidated by my wife? Well, me too.”

Michael Jones (Memorial service)


Ralph often served as lay reader at church. One Sunday as he was reading the Bible, he suddenly realized that what he was reading did not fit into the theme of the service at all. However, he continued reading to the end of the passage, looked up and said, ”Here endeth the wrong lesson”.

Scott Hill

Ralph attended a pre-nuptial shower for a young couple getting married at Good Shepherd Church. Ralph came protesting that men don’t go to showers, but when he found other men there, he decided to stay. As the bride-to-be opened gifts, the “givers” were asked to pass on tips about married life. Ruth and Ralph gave a set of towels. Ralph blurted out “Let me tell you that taking showers together saves neither water nor time”

Brian McGuire

Ralph often wore sweatshirts that were much too big for him. He looked so comfortable that I wished I could find sweatshirts 10 sizes too big. When I expressed my envy to Ralph, he suggested, “Why not go to Omar, the Tentmaker”.

Earl Collier (Memorial Service)

Ralph and I (members of the GSChurch Search Committee) drove about 6 hours to northern Pennsylvania to interview a prospective priest. Before leaving we agreed to share our music. I brought my tapes of Country music while Ralph, of course, had Dixieland jazz tapes. After my Country music tapes played a few minutes, Ralph complained and insisted that we listen to “good” music---again and again. So, for at least 75% of the time I had to listen to jazz!

Scott Hill

Ralph liked to wear T-shirts bearing messages describing himself. He was “the world’s greatest fisherman” or the world’s best handyman “I can fix anything. Where is the duct tape” etc. I especially liked the one he wore after traveling to the southwest and visiting many Indian ruins. The shirt pictured some ruins and read “My life is in ruins”.

Vikki Curtis

Ralph loved babies, especially girls. He often visited the church nursery and helped the workers by carrying crying babies around to calm them. Some of the babies would reach out to be held by Ralph whenever they saw him (Emily Jones). Ralph was sad when these babies grew older and no longer begged for his attention.


After retirement, Ralph became a volunteer tutor for first grad children at Carver Elementary School in Gilpin Court, Richmond. Ralph discovered a different culture right in our own city. He became fond of these little children who came from dysfunctional families. He felt powerless to improve their lot, but the relationships he developed with these children may have made some difference in their lives. It broke Ralph’s heart when one little girl begged Ralph to take her home with him.



Ralph’s father, a Danish immigrant, made his own beer. Ralph grew up drinking beer—almost as a food. Ralph claimed that the Lund home in Watertown, Connecticut was a popular gathering place for all the Danes in the area because his father made such good beer. Ralph enjoyed drinking socially. His favorite drink was Jack Daniels bourbon. After being diagnosed with Diabetes, Ralph quit drinking. He proclaimed,
“Jack Daniels nearly went bankrupt after I quit drinking.”

Ralph liked to tell lies about his drinking. For example, Ralph told me,
“My son Steve never knew that I had a drinking problem until he came downstairs one morning and found me sober.”

Rev. Mario Gonzalez (Memorial service)

"I’ve seen guys three days dead that look better than I feel."
This was Ralph’s answer to any question of how he felt. Ralph stole this line from Moss Hart’s play, The Man Who came to Dinner. If anyone recognized the line, Ralph would say, “I only steal from the best.”

Sometimes, to answer how he felt, Ralph would say,
“For an aged, diabetic, arthritic with heart problems and ulcers, I feel fine.”

When friends asked Ralph how he managed to finance three sons in college at the same time, Ralph would say
“Every time I drive past The Bank of Virginia, the sign genuflects.”

As he aged, Ralph hated the fact that his memory was failing him. But he would joke about it saying,
“A mirror has more retention than my mind.”

After making the decision to move to an Assisted Living Facility in Cincinnati, Ralph told all his friends that he was moving to a Holding Pen.

After moving, Ralph admitted that the facility was a “plush holding pen. They take me to the doctor in a Cadillac.”

During the last years of his life Ralph became a bit of a curmudgeon. He complained about his aging body and mind. “Screw the Golden years. ” When a friend sent hm a copy of the Senility Prayer (a take-off on the Serenity prayer), Ralph felt that it expressed some of his feelings. He framed it and hung it on the wall of his den.


Dear Lord, Please give me the SENILITY

To forget the people I never liked anyway;

The good fortune to run into the ones I do,

And the eyesight to tell the difference.


© 2005 Ruth Haynes Lund