Residents remember life of Ralph Railey

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, October 26, 1999

Features Editor

Today, Troy is mourning the loss of one of its most beloved citizens.

Ralph Neal "Bulldog" Railey, administrator of Pike Manor Health Care Center, died Sunday leaving a void in his position at Pike Manor and in the hearts of the thousands whose lives have been touched by him.

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Those who worked with Railey during his 26-year tenure at Pike Manor paused yesterday to remember the man they have come to respect, admire and love.

The feeling of every employee at the health care center was basically the same – it will be hard to imagine Pike Manor with Ralph Railey.

Diane Smith, assistant administrator, worked closely with Railey for 20 years and she found it difficult to find words to express the loss of she was feeling.

"It’s difficult to put into words the tremendous loss I feel today," she said. "Mr. Railey was not only my boss and mentor, but he was my friend and I will miss him dearly."

Marci Shirley, secretary, also worked closely with Railey on a day-to-day basis.

"When most people think of Pike Manor they immediately think of Ralph Railey because of his unending love for the residents and employees," Shirley said. "He was such an important part of this facility in both the hearts and minds of everyone. May God bring his family joy and peace despite their terrible loss."

Every employee at Pike Manor felt the loss of their "boss" no matter what their position or how close their association with him.

"I worked with Mr. Railey for 21 years," said Dorothy Thompson, activities department. "He always showed compassion for the elderly and he always put the residents first. I will miss him."

Pam Little, activities director, had not had the privilege of working with Railey for that many years but she had worked with him long enough to know and appreciate him.

"It’s hard to put in words what Mr. Railey meant to me," Little said. "He was a wonderful, caring person. His loyalty and dedication to Pike Manor went way beyond the call of duty. I feel very honored to have worked with him and I will miss him dearly."

The nurses said they have lost a good boss and a good friend. One of them, Lottie Bryant, started working at Pike Manor at the same time as Railey.

"He was a dear friend and like a family member," Bryant said. "He loved his employees and the residents. He was very special. My heart goes out to his family. May God bless them is my prayer."

"More than a boss, he’s been a friend and as close as a family member," said Clara Larry, LPN charge nurse. "I could not think of a thing I asked for that he didn’t try to do for me. I will miss him dearly. He’s been a good friend for 25 years."

Mary Lawson, certified nursing assistant felt the same about Railey.

"He was a dear good friend. He always took care of me," she said. "He really cared about the residents and employees. I am really going to miss him. My heart goes out to his family. I know how much he loved them."

In dietary, Mary Berry and Jessie Bean, too, were shocked and saddened by the death of Railey. They called him a dear friend and said he will never be forgotten.

Railey was a caring person and God has a special place for him now, said Flora Merritt, medical records. "The 15 years that I knew Mr. Railey will never be forgotten. We all know that he will be truly missed."

Missed forever at Pike Manor, said Karen Peter, bookkeeping. "My friend, my boss. I just want his family to know my prayers are with them. I loved him and will miss him so much."

Mary Ming works in the beauty shop and was at a loss for words to express what Railey meant to her.

"He was always good to me," she said. "Anything I asked for I usually got. We always got along very well with each other. He was a good boss."

A good boss, a good man and a good friend. That is the way Ralph Railey was known and that is the way he will be remembered by those who worked with him. Their words are a fitting tribute to his good works.

Ralph Railey will be missed, not only by his employees, but by the community he loved and served.

Funeral services will be held for Railey at Hephzibah Baptist Church at 2 p.m. today.