In Memoriam: Jack L. Ralston

Written by Ellen Cox, Budget Manager & Special Projects Coordinator

Jack Ralston, Special Collections and Reference Librarian from 1980-1988, passed away on October 18th. He was greatly loved and admired by all who knew him. Ralston’s legacy includes the procurement of the Keith Clark Hymnology Collection and the initial organization of the Library Archives. He was a graduate of the Conservatory of Music of Kansas City (now a school of the University of Missouri-Kansas City). A musician, as well as a librarian, he was known for his love of the organ and church music, earning two music degrees in organ and performance.

Mr. Ralston was lovingly known by the students as the “real librarian” due to his wisdom and experience. He is also remembered for his very dry sense of humor. Mr. Ralston’s career lead him from Missouri in 1980 to CBN University 1980-1988 and to the Jesse Helms Center from 1989-1993. In 1993 was hired as the Government Documents Librarian at Fayetteville State University, remaining in that position until his retirement.

Mr. Ralston was 83 years old and is survived by his wife Carol, two daughters, a son, 14 grandchildren and one great-grandchild. He resided in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina with his wife Carol.

An interview with Mr. Ralston, conducted in 2008 as part of the Library’s 25th anniversary celebration, may be viewed in the Library’s Digital Library.