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Mr. Ralph V. Pendergraph, Sr.

Posted By Hall-Wynne On May 4, 2015 @ 6:12 pm In Durham,News,Obituaries,Pittsboro | 29 Comments

Ralph Pendergraph, 70, died peacefully on May 4th, following a valiant battle with pancreatic cancer. He was born May 21, 1944 at Watts Hospital in Durham to Thomas W. Pendergraph and Edna Lloyd Pendergraph. He grew up in Orange County, attended Carrboro Elementary School and graduated from Chapel Hill High School where he played football. He attended Mars Hill College and graduated from Durham Tech. He joined the Navy in 1962 and served on the USS Boston. Following his naval service he worked for Technitrol in RTP. He joined the Chapel Hill Police Department in 1973 and served as a police officer for 28 years. He was appointed Chief of Police in 1992 and served as Chief for eight years, retiring in 2000. In retirement he was an instructor in the Criminal Justice Program at Alamance Community College.
He enjoyed coaching numerous young people in community football in Carrboro and Chatham County. When his son Ralph was young, he took his team to a state championship. In later years he would often meet former players who would comment on the impact he had made on their lives.
He is survived by his loving wife Toni Pendergraph; son Ralph Pendergraph (Angela); daughter Natalie Pendergraph; and four grandchildren: Brittany, Annika, Austin and Adam. He is also survived by his sister-in-law, Cindy Pendergraft; along with numerous nieces, nephews and cousins.
Visitation will be on Wednesday, May 6, from 6 to 8 pm at the Hall-Wynne Funeral Home, 396 West Street in Pittsboro. The funeral services are scheduled for Thursday, May 7th at 11am at Cedar Grove United Methodist Church, 2791 Jones Ferry Road, Pittsboro, with burial to follow in the church cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that memorial donations be made to Cedar Grove United Methodist Church, 2791 Jones Ferry Road, Pittsboro, NC 27312.

Condolences for the family of “Mr. Ralph V. Pendergraph, Sr.”

Condolence from Joanna Brownstein on May 4th, 2015 9:05 pm

Ralph’s passing leaves a hole in the fabric of chapel hill and the other small worlds that his great presence touched. He was a very big fish in my life growing up, and I will forever be grateful to the friendship he showed my mother Sandy. Heartfelt hugs to Toni and the rest of the family. We loved Ralph and will miss him.

Condolence from Stephen Wilson on May 4th, 2015 10:21 pm

A good man has passed. I worked with his son, Ralph, Jr. for a number of years.

Condolence from RONNY KING GRAHAM N.C. on May 4th, 2015 10:37 pm


Condolence from Bunny Spadaro on May 5th, 2015 7:09 am

So sorry to hear this. Ralph was one of my favorite people when we both worked for the Town of Chapel Hill. He always brought humor and common sense into defusing conflicts. He was a splendid man – so many interests and qualities and talents. My sympathy and condolences to his family.

Condolence from Elizabeth “Beth” Burgess Smith Morton on May 5th, 2015 11:10 am

Dearest Toni and family, Ralph was a sweet and loving cousin. We shared many hours gathering genealogy details of our family. Ralph taught me a lot about cooking as well and we shared recipes for many years. Our last visit in Pittsboro we shared lunch and spoke off many family members. I shall miss him and loved him with all my heart. God had a place for him to serve Him in heaven now. My joy in his passing is knowing that I will see him again. May God bless you all with comfort and peace during the days to come. I know he loved all of you with every ounce of his being. Psalm 121

Condolence from Lynne Moore on May 5th, 2015 11:33 am

Miss Toni, my thoughts and prayers are with you and your family at this difficult time. Hugs to you!

Condolence from Cal Horton on May 5th, 2015 11:35 am

Ralph was a very good Police Chief because he was a very good man. I never met anyone who understand the people of our community better than Ralph. And, I am certain that no one cared more about the men and women of the Chapel Hill Police Department. His values and principles gave all of us who worked with him guidance about how we should carry out our duties.

Cal Horton, Prescott AZ

Condolence from Jason Craps on May 5th, 2015 11:54 am

I am sorry for your loss. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family during this difficult time.

Jason Craps

Condolence from Carolyn Hutchison on May 5th, 2015 2:10 pm

I am sorry to hear about Ralph’s passing. He made a positive difference in the lives of so many people. My thoughts and prayers are with you.

Condolence from Roderick Hackney on May 5th, 2015 3:10 pm

I was one of those youths that .Mr. Ralph coached back in the day. Heart is heavy from learning of his passing.

Condolence from Dan Jones on May 5th, 2015 3:20 pm

I am sad at the passing of my colleague and friend, Chief Pendergraph. He and I worked together to separate public safety in Chapel Hill and he was always easy to work with and a true gentleman. I will keep Toni in my prayers and Ralph in my memories.

Condolence from Loraine Dillinder Farabow on May 5th, 2015 3:45 pm

Our thoughts, condolences, and love are with the Pendergraph family.

Condolence from Sabrina Garcia on May 5th, 2015 4:07 pm

I was honored to have served under this kind and down-to-earth leader. Chief Pendergraph prompted one to envision new and progressive while maintaining a humble connection to those that we serve.
He was loved by his department; community, friends and family; and leaves behind this legacy.
My deepest condolences to Tony and his children/family.
He will be missed.


Condolence from Betsy Harris, for Betsy and Henry on May 5th, 2015 5:40 pm

Henry and I are so very sorry to hear of Ralph’s passing. As a neighbor for many years and as a fellow Town of Chapel Hill employee, he will always be among our most cherished friends. I was always proud to root for him, whether it was his writing articles for publication in professional media, or receiving our town’s coveted Martin Luther King, Jr. award of recognition, or working with exemplary compassion in carrying out his duties as a peace and law enforcement officer up through the highest rank as Chief of Police. He had a wicked-great twinkle in his eye, a charming laugh, and was always a good conversationalist. When Ralph began telling you story, you knew you were in for a treat. His ability to dispel tension was admirable. Working with Ralph was never work. …I have to repeat that, because it was so very true: working with Ralph was never work.

We send our condolences to Toni and to the rest of Ralph’s family who were neighbors for many years.

Condolence from John H. Butler on May 5th, 2015 8:22 pm

Ralph was a good man and a great friend. He will be really missed. May God be with his family and ease their grief.

Condolence from Peter Richardson on May 5th, 2015 8:40 pm

Dear Toni,

I am so very sorry to learn of Ralph’s passing. Professionally, (Chief) Ralph was the
ideal Chapel Hill Police Chief – compassionate,
extraordinarily competent, and unfailingly kind.
Ralph loved Chapel Hill and the community of Chapel Hill loved Chief Pendergraph.

Most importantly, Ralph was a selfless and remarkable human being, dear friend, and a loving and caring father and husband.

God Bless,

Peter (Richardson)
Coral Springs, Florida

Condolence from Gregg Jarvies on May 5th, 2015 10:18 pm

Ralph taught so many of us in the law enforcement profession that our job was 5% law enforcement and 95% policing. He made sure we understood that being “public servants” was not a negative concept but was instead the very foundation of our profession. He was the perfect chief for the Chapel Hill community he loved so much.

Condolence from Mary Blevins on May 6th, 2015 7:41 am

Toni, my heart breaks for you and your family but I am also glad that Ralph is no longer afflicted by the challenge you all fought so valiently. This world has lost a fine fine man. May your grief be softened by the love you still share and your tears feel the sunshine of sweet memories. My deepest condolences.

Condolence from Javier Soto, Former CHPD Officer on May 6th, 2015 7:48 am

My condolences to the family. Chief Pendegraph hired me as a police officer in 1999. He wanted to diversify the PD. He was very respectful to me. He was admired by all and respected by the citizens. May God have him in a special place. May he give the family comfort. Rest in peace Chief.

Condolence from Tom Moore on May 6th, 2015 10:50 am

My condolences and prayers for Chief Pendegraph’s family. It was a privilege to have known him.

Condolence from Jeff Snyder on May 6th, 2015 11:05 am

My condolences… Chief Pendergraph was real asset to the Chapel Hill Police and a fine mentor at the beginning of my career. He will be sorely missed and well remembered.

Condolence from JEANETTE JONES on May 6th, 2015 11:14 am

My condolences to the Ralph Pendergraph family. He will be sorely missed.

Jeanette Jones, Retired Orange County EMS Director

Condolence from James George on May 6th, 2015 11:33 am

I’m sorry to hear about your loss. Although I did not have a chance to meet Ralph, he sounds like a very honorable man who was admired by his family and community. My thoughts are with you and your family during this difficult time.

Condolence from Brenda Jones on May 6th, 2015 3:53 pm

My sincerest condolences to you Toni and the Pendergraph family. I will always remeber Chief Ralph for his kindness to me and his warm smile and that twinkle in his eye whenever I would see him. Praying that you will be comforted by all of the great memories you shared in the days and weeks to come.

Condolence from Carol Abernethy on May 7th, 2015 8:20 am

My dear Toni,
I was so saddened to hear of your great loss. Ralph was one in a million and I can only imagine how much you’ll miss him. Everyone who knew him will feel that loss. He was calm and professional and effective in his position as Chief but all of us knew him as a kind, thoughtful and most amusing person too.
My thoughts and prayers are with you,
Carol Abernethy

Condolence from Flora Parrish on May 9th, 2015 8:01 am

Toni and family,

Ralph was one of the few people that would still call me Flora Jane. He was a dear friend, a person who cared deeply about his family. Friends and the citizens of Chapel Hill. It was an honor to work with him at the Police but even a bigger honor to have him as a friend. Ralph you will be missed. Toni hoping you will be able to find comfort in the wonderful memories of fun times that can never be taken away. A GOD Bless.

Condolence from Steve Myers on May 9th, 2015 9:40 am

I worked with the SBI for 29 years and had the privilege and honor to serve with your husband and father. I was shocked to see that he had passed away. Such a great officer and chief and an even better person. I am sure he will be greatly missed. My mother passed in 2011 with pancreatic cancer. Such a quick and terrible disease. Our prayers are with your family.

Condolence from Brian Curran on May 28th, 2015 8:43 am

Dear Toni

I am very sorry for your loss. Ralph was a wonderful guy and an excellent chief at CHPD. He was the guy who convinced me to become a Public Safety Officer many years ago, which made my own career possible. He was great for the department and for the town. I learned a lot from watching him. I sure will miss him.

With Respect,

Brian Curran

Condolence from bEVERLY dIXON on August 1st, 2017 9:05 pm

Toni, I’m so sorry about Ralph…do not know if you’ll even see this. It’s August, 2017 and I just learned of his passing and you may not even still live in this area.
If you do see this, will you please get in touch with me?
Much love,
Beverly Dixon

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