Ralph J. Egolf Jr.

January 20, 1931 ~ February 1, 2021 (age 90)


Ralph J. Egolf Jr., 90, died Feb. 1, 2021, at his home in Somerset, Pa. Born Jan. 20, 1931, in Somerset, the son of the late Ralph and Emma (Stahl) Egolf. Also preceded in death by an infant brother, Walter. Survived by his beloved wife of 67 years, Finnette Elizabeth (Barkel) Egolf. They were married June 5, 1953. Also survived by two daughters: Karen (Alan) Simon, Wheeling, Ill., and Barbara (Roger) Knoll, Shippensburg, Pa.; two grandsons: Robert (Melody) Knoll, Mount Holly Springs, Pa., and Josiah (Mollie) Knoll, Hershey; and three great-grandchildren. Ralph was a 1948 graduate of Somerset High School and earned B.A. and M.A. degrees in history with honors from Penn State. He taught world history at Somerset Area Senior High School for 39 years until his retirement in 1992. He also worked nine summer seasons as a federal ranger historian at Fort Necessity National Battlefield. He loved time spent with his family and friends and enjoyed reading, golf, Penn State athletics and music. At Penn State, he played trumpet and French horn in the marching Blue Band. He served as organist for 12 years at Grace United Methodist Church in Somerset, where he was a lifelong member and served on the Administrative Board from 1964 to 2017.
In community affairs, Ralph served for 60 years on the Board of Directors of the Mary S. Biesecker Public Library, including nine as treasurer and 20 as president. His affiliations included Phi Kappa Phi (scholastic), Pi Gamma Mu (social studies), Kappa Phi Kappa (education) and Penn State's Parmi Nous society. He also belonged to the local, state and national education associations and was a life member of the Penn State Alumni Association. At Ralph's request, there will be no viewing or visitation. A private committal service will be held at the convenience of the family. Memorial contributions may be made to the Mary S. Biesecker Public Library, 230 S. Rosina Ave., or Grace United Methodist Church, 320 Felgar Road, Somerset, Pa. Funeral arrangements are being made by Hauger-Zeigler Funeral Home & Cremation Services, Somerset. To leave a condolence please visit

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