Airway Pioneer Member
Ralph K. O'neal

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Ralph was born in Chicago, IL. on March 17th, 1928, St Patrick's Day and was almost named Patrick. The family moved to the suburb of Maywood, IL. in 1939 where Ralph finished Grade School and High School at Proviso Township HS.

He entered the US Coast Guard in 1945 after completing HS and served three years as a LORAN and Electronic Specialist in the Priboloff Islands, Bering Sea Alaska and on the Washington and Oregon Coasts. Upon discharge in 1948 Joyce and Ralph were married in Port Orford, OR.

After attending an Electronic School in Kansas City, MO. He was hired by the old CAA Chicago Region in January of 1950. Ralph served as an ET-7 at Lexington, KY until 1/56 when he moved to London KY as a GS-9 Sector Chief. The London office had one of the last of the VAR facilities. From 11/56 to 7/67 Ralph was assigned to the Aeronautical Center as an Instructor in the FAA Academy AF Distance Aids Unit, then as Chief of the Avionics Electronics Specialist Training Unit and finally as the Sector Chief in the AF Distance Aids Branch. While at the Academy he attended numerous schools and acquired a Bachelors degree form Oklahoma City University and a Professional Engineers License from the State of Oklahoma and Engineering Status from the Civil Service Commission. Ralph was selected to attend Class Three of the Administrative Management Development Program (AMDP) at Syracuse University School of Government from August 66 through June 67.

Ralph was in the Airways Engineer Planning Branch at the Kansas City Regional Office from July of 67 to June of 68. Then came the Washington FAA HQ Office assignment as Technical Training Officer in the FAA Office of Training and then Chief of the Facilities Installation Divisions Manpower Systems Branch from 6/68 to 1/71.

Finally from January 1971 until retirement in 1984, he was Sector Manager of the Montgomery AFD Sector, in the Southern Region Airway Facilities Division.

Joyce and Ralph now live at 7538 East Forge Avenue; Mesa, Arizona 85208; (480)-854-9327. They are primarily interested in the hobby of Round Dancing at which they spend considerable effort. They still have their 5th wheel and pickup truck and have converted from snowbirds to summer birds after moving to Mesa. For the last several years they have traveled extensively in Great Britain, Greece, Australia and New Zealand. This spring they are looking forward to travel through Europe, Russia, and Scandinavia.

Ralph and Joyce have two daughters and two sons scattered throughout the US and three grandchildren

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