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Originally published: 2014-01-30 15:17:40
Last modified: 2014-01-30 15:18:26

Ralph Talbot Troy

Ralph Talbot Troy died bravely and peacefully on January 26, 2014 in Hendersonville, North Carolina following a long battle with cancer. His wife and children were at his side.

Ralph was born in Monroe, Louisiana in 1935 to Vera Nobes Troy and Richard Matthew Troy. He graduated summa cum laude from the University of the South at Sewanee, Tennessee with a major in political science. In 1956 he married Frances Warner of Lookout Mountain, Tennessee. After earning a law degree from Tulane University in 1960, Ralph returned to his home town, Monroe, where he joined his father in the family insurance and mortgage banking business.

Ralph was elected mayor of Monroe in 1972, at the age of 37. Mayor Troy accomplished good things for the city, including a successful flood prevention program and an urban renewal initiative that provided new and improved streets and sidewalks. He also updated the police and fire communication systems, significantly improving surveillance, patrol, and emergency services.

In 1982 Ralph and his family moved to Wilmington, North Carolina to maintain a home by the sea. There he enjoyed sailing and scuba diving and was an avid tennis player. Ralph served as Chair of the Democratic Party of New Hanover County (North Carolina) and on the management team for Harvey Gantt's campaign for U.S. Senate against Jesse Helms in 1990. He also worked for the successful re-election campaign of North Carolina Governor Jim Hunt in 1996. In 1997 Ralph and Francie built a home in the mountains in western North Carolina where they resided for fifteen years. He was a vocal and active board member for United Way Fund in Boone, North Carolina.

Ralph believed strongly in community spirit and service, and he led and spoke for the common good in every place he lived. Throughout his political career, community involvement and family life, Ralph championed causes for equality, fairness and justice particularly for those in traditionally disadvantaged groups and victims of oppression. Ralph was known for his sharp mind and a wonderful sense of humor. He enjoyed many friends and was dearly loved by his children and his wife of 57 years. Predeceased by his parents and his older brother Richard, Ralph is survived by his wife, Francie; his children Pamela, Joan, Talbot and Joshua; his grandchildren, Willa and Talia; his brother, Nat Troy; seven nieces, five nephews and dearly held extended family Bill Warner, Felicia Kahn, Michael Murray and John Cribb.

Those wishing to make donations in Ralph's honor are invited to contribute to the Elizabeth House/Hospice, 571 South Allen Road, Flat Rock, North Carolina 28731. A memorial service will be held at a later date.