By Kathleen Truelove
Ralph Cook learned of Broadmead through resident Jane Brown (Michener). Jane's partner, Nancy Geyer, asked Ralph to go to Bucharest, Romania to assist a non-profit effort to train leaders for Romanian orphanages. A non-governmental organization was formed and ten years later, the local people took over the project. Ralph is a Philadelphia native who attended Central High School there, from which he received a degree rather than a diploma. Founded in 1836, it is, he said, the second oldest secondary school in the country. After receiving another degree, this time in history, from Franklin & Marshall College in Lancaster, PA, he went on to Lancaster Theological Seminary for a Master of Divinity.
As an ordained minister in the United Church of Christ, he served several congregations, beginning in Catawissa, PA on the Susquehanna River, then in the Essex area of Baltimore County, then Waterbury, CT, and back to Baltimore to St. Matthew's Church in Mayfield, where he served for 13 years. After that, he became a consultant in organizational development. He has long worked in the area of alcoholism and has served on the National Council on Alcoholism.
For 35 years, he worked with the Boy Scouts, going from being a Scout himself to being an Assistant District Commissioner. Ralph and Bobbie, his wife of 57 years, have led marriage enrichment workshops, beginning during their time in Connecticut. Ralph's hobby is woodworking, especially sailboat models. He will be a welcome addition to the Woodshop Guys.