Marilyn Joan Ralston, 79, English teacher, Villanova U. librarian, enjoyed decorating cakes

By on April 20, 2016

Marilyn Joan Ralston, 79, of Lititz, went home to be with the Lord, surrounded by her family, on Friday, April 15, 2016.

She was the loving wife of Raymond D. Ralston, with whom she had shared 58 years of marriage. Born in Paterson, N.J., she was the daughter of the late Clarence E. and Maudie Sless Tallman.

Joan was a 1957 graduate of Millersville University, earning bachelor’s degrees in English and librarian science. She taught English at the Wissahickon School District in Ambler, after which she took time off to raise her children. She then taught swimming at the Suburban Swim Club in Newtown Square.

She began working at Villanova University in 1979, as a cataloging/reference librarian, retiring in 1999. As a proud member of the “Nova Nation” she celebrated, for the second time, the Villanova Wildcats winning the NCAA Men’s National Basketball Championship.

Joan was a former member of Trinity Lutheran Church in Havertown, where she was a church council member and a third-grade Sunday School teacher. She is a member of St. Peter’s Evangelical Lutheran Church in Lancaster and served on the prayer chain committee. She had an abiding faith in God and a wonderful sense of humor, both of which she maintained throughout her long illness.

Joan was a devoted wife and mother, and a gracious, courageous woman. She loved spending time with her family and adored her grandchildren. In her early years Joan enjoyed swimming, water skiing, and scuba diving, as well as traveling with friends and family. She was a passionate reader and wrote creatively. Always an excellent cook, she delighted in cake decorating and making candy. Crafts were another favorite activity, including crocheting, and Pysanky egg painting.

In addition to her beloved husband, Raymond, she is survived by her two children: Jan (Ralston) Frailey, companion of Michael Kowalick, of Lancaster; and Jeffrey D., married to Rebecca (Pawling) Ralston, of Telford; grandchildren: Kristi L. Frailey-Merritt, married to Michael A. Merritt, of Conestoga; Timothy G. Frailey of Lancaster; and Sarah E. Ralston of Telford. She is also survived by her brother: John E., married to Flora (Simmons) Tallman, of Pocono Lake; niece: Linda (Tallman) Werner, married to Daniel Werner, of Rutledge; nephew: David, married to Kim (Peoples) Tallman, of Rutledge; grandniece: Renee Tallman of Rutledge; and grandnephews: Andrew Tallman of Rutledge; Daniel, married to Meghan (O’Neil) Werner, of Somerville, Mass.; and David Werner of Medford, Mass.

Joan was preceded in death by her son: Jon E. Ralston.

Family and friends will be received on Friday, April 22, from 10:30 to 11 a.m., at St. Peter’s Evangelical Lutheran Church, 10 Delp Road, Lancaster, with the memorial service to follow at 11 a.m.

In lieu of flowers, make contributions in Joan’s memory to St. Peter’s Evangelical Lutheran Church, 10 Delp Road, Lancaster, PA 17601.

To send an online condolence, visit Charles F. Snyder Funeral Home, Lititz, handled the arrangements.

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