Dr. Ralph Edward Pilgram, Jr., 92, of State College, passed away on Friday, March 1, 2013. He was born on May 15, 1920, in Harrisburg, PA, the son of Dr. Ralph Edward Pilgram, Sr. and Mary Pretty Hall. He graduated from John Harris High School in 1938 and Penn State University in 1942, with a degree in ceramic engineering. He worked in the Carnegie-Illinois Steel Mill in Duquesne, PA, until 1944. He served in the U.S. Army in the Pacific Theatre as an Infantry Sergeant. When the A-Bombs were dropped on Japan, he was poised to invade Honshu, so was one of the thousands spared from that awful fate.
On discharge from the Army he attended Temple University Medical School in Philadelphia, PA, graduating in 1950. After a year's Internship at the Harrisburg Hospital, he established a private general medicine practice in Harrisburg. From 1964 to 1978 he worked at the Ritenour Student Health Center at Penn State. He then worked in the Emergency Room at Centre Community Hospital and the final three years of his medical career were at Centre Crest Nursing Home in Bellefonte, PA, retiring in 1986.
On Christmas Day, 1948, he married Helen Carol Schroder, with whom he enjoyed 60 years of marriage until her death in 2009.They are survived by three children, Dr. Philip Pilgram of Philipsburg, Dr. Paul Pilgram of Salt Lake City, Utah, and Pamela Dunn of Ashburn, VA. They have 8 grandchildren and 2 great-grandchildren. In 1969, Carol and Ralph hosted Andrew Ramsey of Melbourne, Australia, as a foreign exchange student and he remains part of the family. Ralph was preceded in death by a sister, Sarah Barley, and a half-brother, George Pilgram.
Ralph enjoyed traveling, tennis, golf, bowling, bridge, and Penn State football, volunteering in the First Aid room at Beaver Stadium for many years. He enjoyed spending the last chapter of his life at the Village at Penn State, among many old and new friends.
A memorial service will be announced at a later date.
Burial will be private and at the convenience of the family.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Meals on Wheels, 205 South Garner Street, State College, PA 16801 or The Centre County United Way, 2790 West College Avenue, State College, PA 16801.
Arrangements are under the care of Koch Funeral Home, State College. Online condolences and signing of the guest book may be entered at www.kochfuneralhome.com.