Ralph Waldo Lugbill

Lugbill—Ralph Waldo Lugbill, 86, on July 4, 2017, in Boulder, Colo., peacefully and without pain, with his family by his side, following a yearlong bout with cancer. Ralph was born on February 5, 1931, in rural Archbold, Ohio, to Mary Schmucker, called Mamie, and Sylvanus Lugbill. He graduated from Goshen College in 1953. During summer breaks he went west to work for his sister and her husband on their ranch in Westminster, Colo., and to study at the University of Colorado. Through mutual friends, he met Viva Stoltzfus, a student in a Mennonite nursing program in La Junta, Colo., and they married in 1952 and served in La Plata, Puerto Rico, under the Mennonite Mission Board in 1953–1955. There Viva worked as a registered nurse, and he worked on rural agricultural projects and administered the tobacco barn-turned-hospital, where their oldest child, Ann, was born. They returned to Archbold, Ohio, in 1955, and their sons were born there. Ralph worked in the family livestock auction and supply businesses.

Ralph and Viva were charter members of Zion Mennonite Church in Archbold. He was on the church council that established the new church and was an active youth leader there and at Little Eden Camp in Onekama, Mich. In 1964, the family moved to the Washington, D.C. area, where he was self-employed, managing commercial real estate. They attended the Oakton Church of the Brethren near their home in Fairfax, Va. In the 1970s, they began attending Langley Hill Meeting in McLean, Va., and soon became members. They protested the Vietnam War and successfully organized to prevent an ROTC program from starting in Fairfax County schools.

He served as treasurer and on the boards of Friends Committee on National Legislation, Sandy Spring Friends School, and Goshen College’s Alumni Board, for which he was also president. He and Viva established Goshen’s Ralph and Viva Lugbill Multicultural Award to provide scholarships to students from diverse backgrounds. He was trustee of the first women’s federally chartered bank, the Women’s National Bank (now called the Adams National Bank), which opened in 1978 in Washington, D.C.

Active in the lives of his children, he was an avid canoeist, skier, and hiker. Beginning in the late 1980s, he and Viva began taking long summer vacations at Meeker Park Lodge, below Estes Park, Colo. All the grandchildren came to enjoy hiking and mountain climbing with Grandpa in the Rocky Mountains. He and Viva traveled to Europe for their sons’ international canoe and kayak competitions, including the 1992 Olympics in Barcelona, Spain. In 1997, he retired, and they moved to Estes Park, facing Longs Peak. He was active in the Trail Trekkers hiking group and “Over the Hill” skiing group until age 80. He scaled Longs Peak 11 times.

In 1998, he transferred his membership to Boulder (Colo.) Meeting, where he served on the Peace and Social Justice Committee and championed the meeting’s support of peace-oriented and grassroots development projects in Latin America. In 2014, he and Viva moved to Boulder.

Ralph is survived by his wife, Viva Stoltzfus Lugbill; four children, Ann Lugbill (Brewster Rhoads), Ralph Kent Lugbill (Leslie Boyhan), Ron Lugbill, and Jon Lugbill (Gillian); his brother, Chuck Lugbill; and seven grandchildren.

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