Ralph T. Morgan, 81, of St. Marys, and formerly of Lake Burton, passed away Thursday, Jan. 21, 2016, at UF Health Shands in Jacksonville, Fla.
Born Jan. 28, 1934, in Erie, Pa., he was the son of Frank and Eva Morgan.
Mr. Morgan served in the U.S. Navy as a sonar operator and diver on the destroyer Rooks during the Korean conflict. He held a Bachelor of Arts degree from Florida State University in advertising and public relations. He worked for 12 years as an account executive in Atlanta for Liller, Neal, Battle & Lindsey, where he managed award-winning advertising campaigns for Smokey the Bear and U.S. Steel. In 1972, he moved to Columbia, S.C., where he retired in 1999 as a full professor emeritus from the College of Journalism at the University of South Carolina.
Mr. Morgan was an avid outdoorsman and active supporter of Trout Unlimited, the Nassau Sport Fishing Association, the Boy Scouts of America and the National Park Service. He was a dedicated volunteer at Cumberland Island National Seashore where he donated over 2,500 hours of service. During his time on Cumberland Island, he worked as a Lands and Legacy tour guide, museum docent and at Sea Camp, where he was known for his afternoon lectures about Cumberland Island.
He was a cub master and then troop master for Troop 9 in Columbia for 12 years with the Boy Scouts of America.
He enjoyed surf fishing at many of the local beaches, trout fishing in the north Georgia mountains and fishing anywhere with his grandchildren.
Mr. Morgan loved being on the water and began sailing as a child at the Corinthian Yacht Club in Washington, D.C., eventually culminating with the Charleston Offshore Racing Association, where he crewed the boat Deadline for 12 years, winning two championship titles.
Mr. Morgan spent 46 years building a cabin on Lake Burton in the northeast Georgia mountains, where he and his wife Sandy sponsored many sunset suppers on the boathouse and founded Camp Morgan for the grandchildren.
Mr. Morgan always had a smile, even for people he did not know. He was the patriarch of not only his immediate family, but also families of those who he was not a blood relative. Kindness and generosity was a way of life for him.
He is survived by his wife of 57 years, Sandy Morgan of St Marys; three sons, Adam Morgan (Lynette), Capt. Reece Morgan (Heather) and Troy “Chopper” Morgan (Karen); nine grandchildren, Ben Morgan and fiancée Hannah, Sean Morgan, Mallory Morgan and fiancé Justin, Abigail Morgan, Elise Morgan, Hannah Morgan, Henry Morgan, David Morgan and Sam Morgan.
He has an extended family that includes his goddaughter, Amy Bolton Wallace, and a list of others too long to print here.He loved them all.
There will be a memorial service at 4 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 30, at Allison Memorial Chapel in St. Marys.
The family requests that in lieu of flowers, contributions be made to The Ralph Morgan Fund for Georgia Trout Camp. This camp is sponsored by Trout Unlimited and introduces youth to trout fishing. Please send donations to Georgia Trout Camp, 194 Kitchins Lane, Clayton, GA 30525.
Allison Memorial Chapel and Funeral Home of St. Marys is in charge of arrangements.