In memoriam
Ralph Chatham, Ph.D. Oct 15, 1948 - May 18, 2013

Obituary, as printed in the Chagrin Valley Times:

Ralph Ernest Chatham, 64, died May 18th in Falls Church, Virginia.

CDR Chatham was born and raised in Chagrin Falls. Within one week in June 1970, he received a commission in the U.S. Navy, graduated from the University of Kansas, and married Margaret Laidig of Chatham, NJ. During his twenty year career in the Navy, he served on two submarines, earned a PhD in Laser Physics from the State University of New York at Stony Brook, served as a Military Assistant to the Defense Science Board and as a program manager with the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), and completed his service as the Navy's chief technical officer for nuclear survivability.

The next 23 years included various contracting work in support of the Defense Department, returning to DARPA for 6 creative years, and co-chairing two Defense Science Board task forces on military training. The Tactical Iraqi Language and Culture Program he developed was designated as the DARPA Technical Achievement of the year in 2005.

His awards include the Defense Superior and Meritorious Service medals and the Defense Medal for Exceptional Public Service.

CDR Chatham was also an accomplished wood-worker, a trombone player with the City of Falls Church Concert Band, and a professional storyteller, a member of Voices in the Glen, and earned, along with his wife, the 2003 National Storytelling Network Oracle Award.

Survivors include his wife, Margaret, a daughter, Ann (Kevin) Baun of Linthicum, MD, a son, John Chatham, of Mountain View, CA, and one grandchild.