~~RALPH A LOVEYS
of West Palm Beach, FL,
formerly of Florham Park, NJ, 87
Loving husband, father and grandfather
Ralph A Loveys, 87, of West Palm Beach, FL, formerly of Florham Park, NJ, passed away peacefully on Wednesday, February 22nd surrounded by his six children.
He was born April 25, 1929 in Chelsea, MA. During his middle school years, he was thrilled to serve two years as a bat boy for the Boston Red Sox, and had many adventures within Fenway Park.
His family moved to Melrose, MA and at Melrose High School he excelled in football. In 1946 he captained the undefeated football team to the Massachusetts Class A State Championship and received national recognition. He captained the basketball team for two consecutive years. In 1996 he was inducted into the Melrose High School Athletic Hall of Fame.
He attended Middlebury College in Middlebury, VT where he lettered in football, basketball and baseball all four years. He captained the 1950 football team, was named a collegiate all-American for two consecutive years and was drafted by the Green Bay Packers. He graduated from Middlebury in 1951 and enlisted in the United States Marine Corps attaining the rank of Captain and serving active duty in Korea during the Korean War. He was fiercely proud of his service in the Marine Corps.
On July 17, 1954 he married Persis Dana Luke – the start of a 59 year marriage – and they settled in Simsbury, CT. In 1956 they moved to Florham Park, New Jersey to start a family. He loved Florham Park, its community spirit, and believed strongly in volunteerism and public service. He spent several years volunteering in town and served as a Little League umpire. He served 16 consecutive years – 1968 through 1983 – as an elected Borough official – eight years as a Councilman, four of which he was Council President – and eight years as Mayor. During his proud tenure Florham Park developed the vast majority of its capital needs. He had direct oversight of the construction of the current Borough Hall, the Library, the municipal garage, the relocation of the Little Red Schoolhouse, and four major road reconstruction projects. He understood the importance of well planned development and Florham Park’s role in providing its fair share of affordable housing. This was accomplished while maintaining significant open space such as Emmett Park, Brooklake and Pinch Brook golf courses, and the lake at Spring Garden for active and passive recreation. One of his greatest sources of pride was the realization of his dream to develop a cultural center, a place where the community could come together to enjoy summer concerts and other cultural events. Through his vision, fundraising efforts, and resident volunteers, the Gazebo was constructed at the Borough Hall property at no cost to tax payers. His administrations left the Borough in excellent fiscal condition and Florham Park remains to this day one of the lowest property taxed communities in Morris County.
In 1983 he was elected to the position of New Jersey State Assemblyman from the 26th District. He served in the New Jersey Assembly for six years until he was appointed Chairman of the New Jersey Turnpike Authority by Governor Tom Kean.
Ralph was a member of Calvary Presbyterian Church for the past 60 years and was a past Deacon. He was an avid golfer, belonged to several golf clubs, and enjoyed numerous golf vacations with many close friends. He was an ardent fan of the New York Giants, a 60+ year season ticketholder, and did not miss a home game for over 45 consecutive years.
Ralph founded Grove Associates in 1956 with his brother-in-law, Jim Luke, and he served as President until 2008. He also served for several years as President of City Financial Corporation, a subsidiary of City Federal Savings Bank, which at the time was the largest savings and loan in the United States. He also served on several corporate and institutional Boards.
In 2008 he established the Ralph A Loveys Charitable Foundation and has given significantly to a great and varied number of charitable causes.
He and his wife, Persis, loved Vermont where they vacationed with their family each and every summer. The greatest love of his life was his very close family – his wife, his children and his grandchildren.
He is survived by his six children, Ralph Jr. and his wife Keely of Basking Ridge, NJ, Jim and his wife Karen of Randolph, NJ, Alice (Lollie) Beisser and her husband Paul of Berkeley Heights, NJ, Luke and his wife Karen of Webster, NY, David of Flemington, NJ, and Jessica Cox and her husband Dan of Florham Park; his 20 loving grandchildren, his brother in law Robert Luke of Florham Park, and numerous cousins, nieces and nephews.
Visitation will be at the Wm. A. Bradley and Son Funeral Home at 345 Main St., Chatham, NJ on Friday, March 3 at 1-4 pm and 6-9 pm. A funeral service will be held at Calvary Presbyterian Church at 144 Ridgedale Ave. in Florham Park on Saturday, March 4 at 10 am. Interment will be privately held at Evergreen Cemetery in Rutland, Vermont.
In lieu of flowers donations made in Ralph’s memory to the Morristown Memorial Health Foundation would be appreciated.