Capt. Ralph C. Neary

11/27/20 - 7/17/02

Photo from Seaboard archive

Capt. Ralph Neary was born in Yuba City, Calif. He completed 2½ years at Yuba Junior College in engineering before leaving school in 1940 to join the U.S. Army Air Corps. His flight training, all in California, included Primary Flight Training at Hemet, Basic Flight Training at Moffett Field, and Advanced Flight training at Mather Field. He then qualified as a Class 5 pilot for the Air Transport Command in Long Beach.

Ralph’s active duty service in the ATC started on January 9, 1942 and ended in March of 1946. During the war, he flew many types of single-engine, twin-engine, and four-engine aircraft throughout the U.S. and European and Pacific theaters.

Ralph’s first job after World War II was with American Airlines. He then went to work as Chief Pilot for Santa Fe Airlines where he hired a number of his army buddies. After Santa Fe Airlines was shut down by a federal statute prohibiting a railroad from also owning an airline, he went to work for Eastern Airlines, based in Florida and also flew for National Airlines. In 1950, Ralph, along with several of his friends, went to work for Seaboard.

During his 30 years with Seaboard, Ralph flew all the aircraft types used by Seaboard; the DC-3, DC-4, C-46, L-1049, CL-44, DC-8, B-707, and B-747. He also served as Director-Flight. Ralph loved family, sailing, golf, wood working, woodlot management, raising horses and of course, flying. After he retired, he became a certified, advanced ham radio operator and continued enjoying his hobbies and passions until he died in 2002.

Ralph is survived by his wife, Gloria; daughters Adrienne and JoAnne; and son, Christopher from his first marriage.