Jack Duncan Ramaley

July 8th, 1920January 20th, 2018

Jack didn’t quite make it to a hundred as he so dearly desired, but he lived a vigorous life more full of fun and accomplishments than a mere century’s worth.  Raised in Springdale, Pennsylvania, where he delivered newspapers on a bike and caddied golf for quarters and candy bars.  At his beloved Penn State, he played trombone in the Navy ROTC marching band, and earned an engineering degree in metallurgy.  His first professional job was at a magnesium factory, where he supervised the casting of airplane parts.  Although his job was important to the war effort, that sense of duty that so characterized his generation propelled him to a Navy recruiting office in 1943. A few months later found him serving as damage control and gunnery officer aboard the USS Parks in the South Pacific. 

After the war, he worked for Alcoa in San Francisco and started a family with his beloved wife, Jayne. To make ends meet, he also worked part-time in the men’s clothing department at O’Connor & Moffett. Alcoa then sent him to its headquarters in Chicago, but within a few years he was lured to the Dayton, Ohio by a local magnesium manufacturer.  His true calling came in 1958, when he joined Breuer Electric Manufacturing Co. as a zone sales manager. A decade later he’d become vice president of sales.  Through Breuer, he was introduced to ISSA, a nonprofit association serving the cleaning and maintenance industries.  Within a few years, he was elected to its board and served as ISSA’s treasurer.  He eventually left Breuer in 1975 to serve as the ISSA’s executive director, where he expertly guided its expansion to its present position as the voice of the cleaning industry.  Although he officially retired from ISSA in 1987, he never left it in spirit, serving in many capacities right up to his final days.  In return, the association honored him with its Industry Distinguished Service Award in 1977, and in 1986, renamed the award after him.  In 2001, the ISSA Foundation created the Jack D. Ramaley Designated Scholarship, which is presented annually.


With wife, Jayne, Jack retired to Skidaway Island, near Savannah, an island covered with golf courses.  Jayne proved the better golfer until her ailing heart intervened.  She and Jack decided to move to the Academy in Boulder where their daughter, Jackie, then lived and worked.  Unfortunately, death took her suddenly in the spring of 2002, and Jack had to come to Boulder by himself.  Restless, he wanted his own place and a dog, and soon moved to a house in South Boulder just a block away from Jackie.  Next door were friendly neighbors, retired History professors, Jack and Gloria Main.  Jack busied himself with his new border collie, Scout, improving his new residence and joining Lake Valley Golf Club and Rotary.  When his neighbor, Jack Main died in the Fall of 2003, he helped Gloria with yard work and snow shoveling and trips to the airport.  Anxious to reciprocate these kindnesses, she took him to a woman’s basketball game at CU, to which he then responded with seats at a Nuggets’ game. She introduced him to her old colleagues in the History Department and he took her to dinner often at Laudisio’s, the Med and Carelli’s.  Readers can guess how this story turns out: they joyfully wed in October of 2005 and lived a dozen wonderful years together.



Jack was preceded in death by parents, Myrtle McColgin Ramaley and Ben Duncan Ramaley, daughter Susan Elizabeth Ramaley, brother, Stephen Warren Ramaley, and first wife, Jayne Ingram Ramaley.  He is survived by wife, Gloria Main, sister Margaret Ramaley Moore, sons Ben Duncan and Jay Ingram Ramaley, daughter Jaclyn Ramaley, nine grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. 


His ashes will be interred with military honors at Ft. Logan Cemetery sometime in the late Spring.  In lieu of flowers, memorial gifts made be made to the Jack D. Ramaley Scholarship in Materials Science and Engineering at Penn State (Attn. Karen Reese, 207 Deike Bldg., University Park, PA 168802) or to the ISSA Foundation Jack D. Ramaley Fund,@ 3300 Dundee Road, Northbrook, IL 60062 or contact [email protected]).