Ralph Galen Obituary

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In Memory of

Dr. Ralph W. Galen

July 27, 1924 - July 27, 2013
Obituary

Dr Ralph W Galen passed away on July 27,2013 at the age of 88 at his home in Woburn, MA. Previously, Ralph resided for many years in Lexington and Cambridge. Ralph, affectionately known as Wally by his childhood friends and family, was born in the Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania area to the late Rose and Dr. Robert Galen. A product of WWII Ralph, skipper of LCT 1112 in the South Pacific during the war, attended various schools of higher education including Northwestern University Midshipmen's School where he received his commission as Ensign, USNR. Upon separation from the Navy Ralph followed in his father's footsteps by becoming a...
Dr Ralph W Galen passed away on July 27,2013 at the age of 88 at his home in Woburn, MA. Previously, Ralph resided for many years in Lexington and Cambridge. Ralph, affectionately known as Wally by his childhood friends and family, was born in the Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania area to the late Rose and Dr. Robert Galen.

A product of WWII Ralph, skipper of LCT 1112 in the South Pacific during the war, attended various schools of higher education including Northwestern University Midshipmen's School where he received his commission as Ensign, USNR. Upon separation from the Navy Ralph followed in his father's footsteps by becoming a dentist practicing general dentistry in State College Pennsylvania for two years. In 1954 he completed his graduate work in orthodontics at Tufts School of Dental Medicine where he received an appointment as a teaching fellow. He practiced orthodontia in Cambridge for approximately forty years.

He may be best known for his passion in the cycling world, co-founding the Charles River Wheelmen in 1967 with his friend Fred Chafee. Ralph later became president of the League of American Wheelmen, a national bicycle organization where he became Life Member #1. In the early years he rode to Expo 67 and across the United States. Later he rode through 13 countries in Europe, the Middle East and Africa and authored a book about his journey entitled, "2 Wheels, 2 Years and 3 Continents." Over the course of his lifetime he rode "bone shakers" "high wheelers", tandems, fixed gear and road bikes. He amassed a collection of antique bicycles, which he later donated to the Lars Anderson Museum.

Ralph was active in the Cambridge Kiwanis Club and Rotary Club, and the chairman and editor of the Middlesex District Dental Society. During his retirement he delivered Meals on Wheels in the Woburn area. In addition, he worked as a docent in the Harvard art museums. He also enjoyed ball room dancing and learning to speak French.

Ralph is preceded in death by his parents, his first wife, Ruth Galen (Kaster) and his second wife, Dorothy Cunningham.
He is survived by his 2 brothers Larry Galen of Bensalem PA and Dr Robert Galen of Maine, his daughters Amy Sebell of Andover, MA and Terry Galen of Moab, Utah; his 3 grandchildren, Jason Sebell(Franklin MA), Rachel Sebell (Cambridge MA)and Meera Edwards (Utah), and 2 great grandchildren Jack Sebell and Max Sebell. Ralph also leaves his beloved friend and longtime companion, Celeste Delpidio.

Ralph established charitable trusts with both Tufts Dental and Mt Auburn Hospital.

A 19th century Chicago preacher described cycling as natural and confidence-boosting:
"How tranquil and happy! How self-poised and self-reliant, how harmonious with nature and art, the cyclist seems as he passes along the highway, street and boulevard, like a bird on the wings of the wind."

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More Obituaries

Boston Globe
GALEN, Dr. Ralph W. Of Woburn, formerly of Cambridge on Saturday, July 27, 2013. Husband of the late Dorothy (Manguso), the late Ruth (Kaster) and...

Read obituary at Boston Globe.

Boston Herald
GALEN Galen, Dr. Ralph W. of Woburn, formerly of Cambridge on Saturday, July 27, 2013. Husband of the late Dorothy (Manguso), the late Ruth...

Read obituary at Boston Herald.

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