Bowling Green, OH
- Retired BGSU professor Ralph St. John, 74, passed away on March 24, 2017, after many years of living with Parkinson's disease.
St. John was a respected professor of applied statistics in the College of Business at BGSU. He also served as graduate student adviser for the Department of Applied Statistics and Operations Research, and he especially enjoyed mentoring the graduate students who came from many other countries to study here. He was proud to have created the Statistical Consulting Center, which helped researchers from all over campus organize and interpret their data.
St. John was born and raised in Fort Kent, Maine, the son of a potato farmer. He grew up speaking French, which was the primary language of northern Maine during his youth. He was very proud of, and very knowledgeable about, his Acadian French culture. He attended Assumption Academy in Worcester, MA, then earned a Bachelor's degree in mathematics and statistics at the University of Maine. After working several years for IBM, he continued his education with a Masters from the University of Massachusetts and a PhD in statistics from the University of Wisconsin [Madison]. He began his BGSU teaching career in 1973.
St. John enjoyed long-distance motorcycling with his wife, Marcy--they biked through 47 states, ten Canadian provinces, and several European countries, especially France. He was passionate about his genealogical research, and his extensive work is housed at the Acadian Archives of the University of Maine-Fort Kent. He enjoyed building and repairing computers, often giving them to people as a means of getting their lives onto a positive track. He also dedicated much time to the creation and operation of Bowling Green's first competitive soccer leagues for boys and girls.
St. John is survived by his wife Marcy (Domergue) of Bowling Green, son Matthew of Fort Collins, CO, daughter Jessica of Portland, OR, mother Dolores, and siblings Michael, Sylvia, Beatrice, Peter, and Timothy. He was preceded in death by his father, Louis. St. John was a longtime friend of Bill and helped many others become a friend of Bill as well. The family is grateful for the compassionate care given by the staff at Wood Haven and by Heartland Hospice.
There will be a memorial service at the First Presbyterian Church (126 S. Church St., Bowling Green, Ohio, tel: 419-352-5176) on Saturday, May 20, 2017, at 11 a.m. Memorials may be made to the First Presbyterian Church or to the University of Toledo Foundation (memo: Parkinson's), Gardner-McMaster Parkinson's Center, c/o Julia Spears, 3000 Arlington Ave., MS 1083, Toledo, OH 43614.
Published on  March 31, 2017