Ralph Eugene Lyness

Father: Charles Enoch Lyness (1885-1952)

Mother: May Virgie Hildebrand ( 1885- 1957)

Born May 15, 1921, in Waseca, Minnesota.

Died November 8, 2003, in Wilmington, Delaware, of cancer.

Spouse: Elsie Barcus (January 22, 1923-January 4, 2021)

Married August 1, 1947, in Wilmington, Delaware.

Divorced in 1983.

Ralph went to Highland College and in World War II served in the Office of the Chief of Staff in the War Dept. in Washington, DC and as a dispatcher for the Air Transport Command, also in Washington, DC. He retired from the General Motors Auto Assembly Plant in 1976 after 30 years.

After retiring, he was the national sales manager for Franchise Brokers Network in Wilmington, Delaware. He also was president of Francon (franchise sales), retiring again in 1990.

He enjoyed retirement with lifelong learning, singing, traveling and designing his own computer program for finances. He was proud that his great grandfather, Hildebrand, was in the Civil War and the Oklahoma Land Rush. He built perfectly the basement recreation room, second floor of his house, garage and a perfect tree house. He was past president of the Orpheous Club and elementary school band president, where he organized band trips to the New York World's Fair. He was also a lifelong member of SPEBSQSA, for barbershop singing, a member of the Brandywiners, a member of the Elks Club and the GM Retirees Club.

He raised his family in the atmosphere of the First and Central Church, where he was a deacon, a Sunday school teacher and beautiful bass singer for the choir. Late in life he touched many people in the Cancer Center at the Christiana Hospital and many people that knew him. He started singing with his dear brother and sister who were also active in Barber Shoppers. Singing was almost like a loving religion his whole life.


  1. Thomas Eugene Lyness (1949-1949).
  2. Candace Elaine Lyness (1951-).
  3. Steven Edward Lyness (1952-)

Return to Lyness index page.

Revised January 16, 2021.