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Ralph Johann Ernst Boehm

In Memoriam: Ralph Johann Ernst Boehm, 76, of Great Pond Road, Simsbury, CT and husband of Jo-An (Healey) Boehm, died May 31, 2003 following a long illness. He was born September 16, 1926 in South Ozone Park, LI NY. He was a veteran of World War II and Korea, having served in the U.S. Army. In 1963 Ralph became involved in soaring and was crew chief for the 1970 and 1974 world champion pilot George Moffat. Ralph was a self-employed pilot, working in flight instruction and aerial photography, and owned and operated an aerial advertising business with his family. He was a member of the Soaring Society of America and the Simsbury Radio Control Club. Ralph raced stock cars in the 1940's, 50's and 60's throughout the Northeast.

Ralph not only had a passion for living life at its fullest, but he was a nonconformist who was unafraid to forge his own path. He taught himself to fly as a teenager. He was an accomplished racecar driver. He was a respected crew chief for a world champion sailplane pilot, and in the process of winning championships; Ralph got to travel the world. He was a talented power and glider pilot along with being a highly experienced flight instructor. He was also a motorcycle enthusiast who felt at ease rolling high speed down the road on one of his BMW bikes.

Ralph was a teacher and mentor to many soaring pilots. He never hesitated to share his wealth of experience, show you a technique that you needed to learn, or to sit down with you and take the time to explain something. Ralph was dedicated to his students, and his students were dedicated to Ralph. Ralph valued his friendships, and he had friends throughout the world. Regardless of his adventures, Ralph found his greatest pleasure in quietly bragging about his wife or his children. He was very proud of each son and daughter. Although he was not an expressive man, Ralph would state to his close friends that finding his wife, Jo-An, was the greatest thing that ever happened to him in his life. Although Ralph Boehm was not a wealthy man, there are very few who have lived such a rich and abundant life.

"Life is strange. Every so often a good man wins." Frank Dane

Posted: 10/1/2003

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