Ralph Lumb

Obituary of Ralph Francis Lumb

Ralph F Lumb, 101, passed away peacefully on Wednesday, March 29, 2023, at Brookdale in Niskayuna NY. He was the beloved husband of the late Phyllis Mae Wetherbee Lumb to whom he was married for 80 years. Ralph was born on May 27, 1921, in Worcester, Massachusetts. He was the son of the late Ralph T. Lumb and Clara L. Bunker and stepfather Irving Clapp. He was predeceased by his sister Claire Price. 

Ralph and Phyllis had eight children, including the recently deceased Sandra Eddy, and is survived by daughters Joy, Cheryl, Linda and Bonnie (Robert), and sons Randall, Richard (Mary Harnett), and Steven (Michail Shaw). 11 Grandchildren, Erik, Elizabeth, Scot, Wendy, Kelly, Grady, Kristin, Jesse, Casey, Matthew and Timothy; 15 great grandchildren, and 3 great, great grandchildren.

Ralph had an illustrious career in nuclear science. Academically, after leaving Clark University to join the Army Air Corps, he returned to finish his degree in chemistry and then earned his doctorate in physical chemistry. He began his career as a pharmacist assistant then as an assistant professor at Assumption College and Northeastern University and was soon hired by the Atomic Energy Commission (AEC). In 1957 Ralph was recruited by Quantum Inc. to conduct research in atomic energy which led to the formation of the Western New York Nuclear Research Center on the campus of the State University of New York at Buffalo. The center was dedicated on April 20, 1961, and Ralph became its first Director. In 1968, Ralph created a nuclear materials management consulting firm (ADTEC) and became its President. In 1971 he became president of NUSAC in Mclean, VA. He retired in 1986. Among his many professional achievements he published numerous scientific papers and was highly respected in the scientific community.  Over the years he was active in many roles in fostering a better understanding of the benefits of nuclear energy.

Ralph and Phyllis and family resided in over 20 homes and had a penchant for travel, especially on educational tours and camping trips. They took much joy from their large and extended family.  Ralph was an avid reader. He loved music especially if it was performed live. He and Phyllis loved to go dancing and enjoyed its many forms from ballroom to square dancing.

 Ralph retired to Somersville, CT. and immediately took on the role of proprietor of The Old Mill Inn as a bed and breakfast. He also became very active in the local church community. This pattern of nurturing fellowship in church and community continued as they traveled to Fruitland Park and Polk City Florida and eventually settling in Greenville NY.   

A memorial service will be held at the Asbury United Methodist Church in Norton Hill, 5830 State Route 81, Greenville, on Sunday, July 2, 2023 at 11:30 AM.  In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made in Ralph’s name to the Asbury UMC Memorial Fund, P.O. Box 599, Greenville, NY, 12083. Condolence page is available at ajcunninghamfh.com. Light a candle at ajcunninghamfh.com.


Memorial Service

11:30 am
Sunday, July 2, 2023
Asbury United Methodist Church
5830 State Route 81
Greenville, New York, United States
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