St. Timothy's Episcopal Church
2575 Parkway Drive, Winston Salem, NC 27103
Monday, Jun 02, 2014
Feb 26, 1928 - May 29, 2014
Ralph DuWayne Amen, Ph.D, Professor Emeritus of Wake Forest University, departed this earthly life on May 29, 2014 after a lengthy illness. Ralph was born February 26th, 1928 in Cheyenne, Wyoming, the son of Adolph and Amelia Amen, and older brother to James and JoAnn Amen. He met Shirley George at Greeley College, Colorado, and they married in 1952 while he was serving in the U.S. Air Force during the Korean War. Ralph pursued his education while working as a draftsman at Eaton Metal and teaching at Cherry Creek High School and raising four children with Shirley. He earned his B.A. and his M.A. from the University of Northern Colorado. At the University of Colorado he earned an M.B.S. and his Ph.D. in 1962. Ralph taught at Wake Forest University in the Biology Department from1962 until his retirement in 1993. His research specialties included physiological ecology, seed dormancy, and biomedical philosophy and ethics. His research has been cited in many publications and his original research in plant physiology was determined a "classical paper" in the field of botany.
Ralph lived by a strong ethical code and exemplified moral integrity in all aspects of his life. He was an extraordinary educator; insightful, decisive and intuitive. His role as a father instilled compassion, support, unconditional love, and strong moral values. He was a self-described romantic; imaginative, individualistic and idealistic. He penned beautiful and thought-provoking poetry, and wrote a book, Conversations with the Almighty, An Existential Perspective, illustrated by his son, Eric. His passion for reading was equaled only by an enthusiasm for model railroading and all things trains.
Ralph is preceded in death by his parents, his sister, and his youngest child, Eric. He leaves behind to celebrate his life his devoted wife of 61 years, Shirley, his loving children Christine, duWayne (Cinda), and Katherine, all of Winston-Salem. Extended family includes his brother James (Nadine) of Cheyenne, Wyoming, brother-in-law Donald (Gail) George and family. Ralph will be missed for his passion for learning, humor and strength of character by his family, friends, and a multitude of students in whose lives he made a tremendous difference.
The Burial Office will be conducted at St. Timothy's Episcopal Church on Parkway Drive in Winston-Salem on Monday, June 2, 2014 at 11:00 a.m. The family will host a reception immediately following the service. In lieu of flowers, please consider donation to The Hospice and Palliative Care of Winston Salem,101 Hospice Ln, Winston-Salem, NC 27103 or St. Timothy's, 2575 Parkway Dr., Winston Salem, NC, 27103.
Special thanks and appreciation go to the staff of Oak Forest Health and Rehabilitation and Hospice for their compassionate care and support.
Online condolences may be sent to www.salemfh.com.
I am so sorry for the loss of your dear Ralph. My heart is with you and your family.
John E. Davis, III
Please accept my sincere condolences. My late father, J. E. "Jack" Davis, was a colleague of Dr. Amen in the Biology Department at Wake Forest in the 1960's.
In my life I have had five great teachers. Ralph Amen was one of them. He taught natural science like a liberal art. May he rest in peace.
I was so saddened to read of the death of Eric such a short time ago and my heart goes out to your whole family at this loss of your beloved Dad and husband. I am keeping you all in my thoughts and prayers and am so so sorry to hear of the death of both of these fine men.
Ben McDonald (son of Dr.Jim and Caroline McDonald)
Mrs. Amen and DuWayne,
It was with sadness today that I saw of your loss of Dr. Amen. The Wake Forest family has lost another great Biology Professor. My family's thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.
Shirley, Kathy, Chris and All,
My prayers are with you!