ROOP, Ralph Goodwin
Ralph Goodwin Roop, 90, passed away on Saturday, January 21, 2006 in Richmond, Va. He was born on June 23, 1915 at Snowville, near Radford, the son of Guy Carlton and Ora Goodwin Roop.
His father was a farmer and his mother was a schoolteacher and community leader. Ralph graduated from Virginia Tech in 1936, with a degree in agricultural economics, then earned a master’s degree from Cornell in 1937. That same year, he went to work for Southern States Cooperative, where he remained until 1966, rising to Director of the Petroleum Division.
In 1966, Ralph resigned to assume the full-time management of Petroleum Marketers, Inc., a company he acquired in 1950. He served as Chairman and CEO of Petroleum Marketers, Inc. until his retirement in 1987, as the Company developed into the leading petroleum distributor and convenience store operator in Virginia.
After marrying his high school sweetheart, Inez Graybeal of Christiansburg, Va., Ralph spent most of his career in Richmond, Va. The couple took part in a wide range of community, church and educational activities. Philanthropy was an important part of their lives, particularly the establishment of scholarships at Virginia Tech, James Madison University and Virginia Wesleyan College.
Ralph leaves his wife, Inez; and two daughters, Nancie Roop Kennedy of Annapolis, Md. (with her husband, Duncan C. Kennedy III) and Patterson Roop Webster of Montreal, Canada (with her husband, Norman Webster). There are seven grandchildren, Duncan C. Kennedy IV of Orlando, Fla., Scott C. Kennedy of San Diego, Calif., David Webster of Toronto, Canada, Andrew Webster of Perth, Australia, Derek Webster of Montreal, Canada, Gillian Webster of Boston, Mass., and Hilary Webster of North Hatley, Quebec; and three great-grandchildren.
Ralph was a member of Phi Beta Kappa and Alpha Zeta. He served as Chairman of the Virginia Petroleum Council, President of the Virginia Oilmen’s Association, and Director of: Jefferson National Bank, Virginia Tech Foundation, Suhor-Graham Foundation, INRA Foundation, Trinity Foundation, United Methodist Foundation, Richmond Chamber of Commerce and Richmond Kiwanis Club.
He was a Trustee of Virginia Wesleyan College and a longtime member of Ginter Park United Methodist and Trinity United Methodist Church, where he served as a Trustee and Chairman of the Finance Committee.
In 1983, Ralph was named "Oilman of the Year" by the Virginia Petroleum Jobbers Association.
In 2003, his beloved Virginia Tech presented him with the University’s highest alumni award, the William H. Ruffner Medal.
Visitation will be held at Woody Funeral Home, 1771 Parham Road, Richmond, Va. on Thursday, January 26, 2006 from 2 to 4 and 6 to 8 p.m. Funeral services will be held at Trinity United Methodist Church, 903 Forest Avenue, Richmond, Va. on Friday, January 27, 2006 at 3 p.m.
Interment will be in the family plot at Sunset Cemetery in Christiansburg, Va. on Saturday, January 28, 2006 at 3 p.m. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Trinity United Methodist Foundation, 903 Forest Avenue, Richmond, Va. 23239 or to the charity of the donor’s choice.