Ralph Whitfield Black, Jr., age 79, a longtime resident of Troy, Alabama, passed away Friday, July 17, 2020. A funeral service will be held Wednesday, July 22, 2020, at 11 a.m. in the chapel of Green Hills Funeral Home with Reverends Doc Kirby and Ross Lankford officiating.
Serving as pallbearers will be John Mike McCall, Dan Smith, Joshua Black, Cot Wallace, Chip Wallace, Jerry Miller, and Christopher Black.
Honorary pallbearers will be Gene “Pug” Palmer, Rick Stetson, Barry McKnight, Robert Earl Stewart, Sam Hall, Buddy Johnson, Dave Laliberte, Michael Buchanan, Mac Holmes, Stanley Moore, Steve Moore, K.W. Keene, Michael O’Hara, Larry Meeks, Larry Hancock, Jake Thompson, Michael Bird,Frank Eason, his Sunday School class from First Baptist Church, The Auburn Knights Association, The Baseball Mafia Group, and all the members of the ‘unofficial’ Troy Coffee Club.
Burial will follow in Green Hills Memorial Cemetery. Visitations will be held Tuesday, July 21, 2020, from 4 -6 p.m. at Green Hills Funeral Home and Wednesday, one hour prior to the service at the funeral home.
Ralph Black was a Montgomery native in the very first graduating class of Robert E. Lee High School, an Auburn University attendee, and a member of the Auburn Knights Orchestra for more than 60 years. But if you knew Ralph Black or ever heard him over the airwaves, you knew his heart belonged to Troy. During his lifetime he generated an impressive list of accolades: an inductee to the Troy University Baseball Hall of Fame, Troy University Sports Hall of Fame, Wiregrass Sports Hall of Fame, and the Alabama Broadcasters Hall of Fame.
He was passionate about his trades, dedicating over 50 years to WTBF-Radio as a beloved Morning Show personality, serving 26 years as “The Voice of TSU,” and sprinkling his talents across the Wiregrass as a valued commentator.
Mr. Black was a master of details. He could spout statistics with the best of any analysists and dictate the tiniest details to paint a crystal clear visual of a player running down field. If you were lucky enough to sit with him face-to-face, he would craft his stories complete with vibrant napkin drawings and a rich history narrative. Many will also remember him from his signature phone greeting (“Ralph Black speaking.”)
He kept his mind sharp with daily crossword challenges and fed his creative aspirations with the sounds of Jazz and Big Band Music. Mr. Black was an accomplished musician himself having the privilege to study under another Troy great, Dr. Johnny Long, and hone his skills as a clarinetist and saxophonist.
Mr. Black had a heart for charity, whether it was indulging his inner child to play Santa Claus for local children, promoting the successes of local fundraising endeavors, or lending an ear to hear from his community.
So much could be said about a personality best known as “Big Time,” but there are a few words that perhaps say it best about Ralph Black—great sports, good music, black coffee, a rare steak, and “Holy Mackerel!”
Mr. Black is survived by his wife of 34 years, Cheryl Black; children, Ginger Black (Tim Mitchell), Ed Black (Chris), Elaine Donaldson, Greg Black, and Frank Eason (Stephanie); grandchildren, Christopher Black, Cari Black, Caitlyn Mitchell, Sarah Hicks (Andrew), Joshua Black, Mallory Thompson (Jake), Madelyn Donaldson, Mackenzie Donaldson, Mayley Donaldson, Samantha Eason, and Trevor Eason; great-grandchildren, Addison Durham, Asher Mitchell, Caylea Grace Collins, Aason Collins, Olivia Kate Hicks, Ryleigh Thompson, Mason Thompson, and Anna Frey. He was preceded in death by his parents, Ralph Whitfield Black, Sr. and Nyna Martin Black.
In lieu of flowers, charitable donations can be made in his honor to the Alabama Baptist Children’s Homes and Family Ministries(2681 Rocky Ridge Lane Birmingham, AL 35216)https://www.alabamachild.org/ or to the American Cancer Society Attn: Pike County Relay for Life (3054 McGehee Road Montgomery, AL 36111). Friends and family can sign the guestbook online at www.greenhillsfuneralhome.net. The staff of Green Hills Funeral Home is honored to serve the Black family.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Ralph W. Black, Jr., please visit our floral store.
Alabama Baptist Children's Homes and Family Ministries
2681 Rocky Ridge Lane, Birmingham AL 35216
American Cancer Society Attn: Pike County Relay for Life
3054 McGehee Road, Montgomery AL 36111