DR. Ralph T. Templin

 

May 2, 1984

 

††††††††††† Dr. Ralph T. Templin, emeritus professor of sociology at Central State University, and also a minister, died at his home on Cedarville-Yellow Springs Road Wednesday evening, May 2nd. He had been in failing health for some time. He was 88 years of age.

 

††††††††††† Dr. Templin was acquainted with Gandhi during his years as an educational missionary (under the control of the Methodist Church) in India, and he was well known as an interpreter of Gandhiís ideas. This was the subject of his last public lecture, delivered some months ago at Wittenberg University.

 

††††††††††† His educational work in India was ended when he took a public stand in behalf of the nonviolent movement for Indian freedom, and in 1940 he and his family were expelled by the pro-British authorities. He returned to the United States to become director of the School of Living, 1941-45, at Suffern, New York.

 

††††††††††† After receiving his degree of doctor of education from Columbia University, in 1946, he moved with his family to Yellow springs to work with Arthur E. Morgan in Community Service, Inc. He later taught sociology at Wilmington College, and in 1948 was appointed professor sociology at Central State University, where he also took on the editorship of the Journal of Human Relations, which he continued after his retirement in 1962.

 

††††††††††† He was the first white member of Central Stateís faculty, and in 1954 he was the first white minister to be received into a black annual conference of the Methodist Church.

 

††††††††††† He wrote one book, Democracy and Nonviolence Ė The Role of the Individual in World Crisis, published in 1965, bringing together ideas gained from a lifetime of study, teaching and service in humanitarian causes. He wrote many magazine and journal articles, and carried on a heavy correspondence.

 

††††††††††† A dedicated pacifist, he served on the national council of the Fellowship of Reconciliation, and was a founder of the Peacemakers. As he had supported the movement for independence in India, back in the United States he worked for freedom for Puerto Rico and for civil rights in the South.

 

††††††††††† Dr. Templin was born February 2nd, 1896 in La Crosse, Kansas, the son of a Methodist minister. He received his under-graduate degree from southwestern College, Winfield, Kansas, and after graduation married Lila Horton, whom he had met at the college. They then went to Boston University (Massachusetts), where he received his masterís degree and the divinity degree of bachelor of sacred theology. The Templins and their son Lawrence (at three-and-a-half-years of age) then went to India in 1925, where Dr. Templin became director of a large boarding school. They remained there for 15 years (including time for a furlough to the United States, during which they traveled slowly to see other countries along the way).

 

††††††††††† Survivors, besides his wife and son (a professor of English at Bluffton College, Bluffton, Ohio), are three grandchildren: Sara Templin Velasquez, John Templin and Mary Templin; three great-grandchildren; two brothers, Carl Templin, of San Francisco, California, and Frank Templin, of Franklin, Indiana; and a sister, Lola Templin Grossman, of Florida.

 

††††††††††† In recent years, the Templins joined the Yellow Springs Meeting of the Society of Friends, which is arranging a memorial service to be held June 2nd in the Yellow Springs Library, at 2 p.m.