April 28, 1946 - November 5, 2020
Past FCCA President-1991
It is with tremendous sadness that the Federal Court Clerk’s Association pays tribute to Ralph DeLoach, our esteemed former colleague who served as FCCA President, FCCA Journal editor, and, for more than twenty-two years, as Clerk of Court for the District of Kansas. Ralph passed away on November 5, 2020, in Overland Park, Kansas.
In his President’s Message in the winter 1991 edition of the FCCA Journal, Ralph wrote:
The service we provide and how we provide it is a significant factor in the way the judiciary is perceived by the Bar and the public. We should not lose sight of the fact that the Bar and public are exposed to the judiciary primarily, and sometimes exclusively, through the Clerk’s office. . . When we accept the responsibilities of public employment, we have an obligation to provide the kind of service the Bar and public deserve. We also have an obligation to provide the kind of service that reflects positively on the judiciary. We need to maintain an awareness of those obligations and strive daily to live up to them.
Much time has passed since Ralph shared these words, but the message about professional responsibility could not be any truer today. Ralph demonstrated by his actions a strong belief that the federal judiciary must stand firm as defender of the Constitution, and that we, in Clerk’s offices, should humbly and diligently support this important mission.
The path that led Ralph to the Clerk position in Kansas was direct and solid like Ralph. Ralph was born in Coco Solo, Panama, where his father was stationed. He grew up in Jacksonville, Florida, with his seven siblings. He spent his childhood catching alligators, shrimping, and searching for conch shells. After completing graduate school, Ralph pursued his juris doctorate degree while working as a probation officer. He eventually was appointed by the court in Kansas to the Clerk position, where he served with distinction.
Ralph was not content to limit his influence and expertise to the borders of Kansas. He shared his knowledge nationally and was an early implementor of many important initiatives, like the judiciary’s modernized accounting system. Many who are still in the judiciary remember Ralph as a trusted advisor and mentor. Always an adventurer, Ralph eventually turned his attention to the international stage. He wanted to share with other countries his knowledge of and love for our unparalleled system of justice.
After retiring from the federal court in Kansas in 2008, Ralph became a consultant on best practices for judicial systems around the world, including Russia, Moldova, Romania, Saudi Arabia, and Indonesia.
Those of us fortunate enough to know Ralph were undoubtedly influenced by his leadership. But, we understood that Ralph was not exclusively ours. Despite his long and distinguished career in the judiciary, his most cherished moments were undoubtedly with his loving wife, Loretta, his children, and his grandchildren.
We will miss you, Ralph. Thank you for your lifetime of service. Rest in peace.
If you wish to send a condolence letter or card to Ralph’s family, please mail it to:
c/o United States District Court
Robert J. Dole United States Courthouse
500 State Avenue, Room 259
Kansas City, KS 66101-2441