Ralph H. Deckelbaum, of Bethesda, passed away peacefully on Sept. 14 at his home with his loving wife of 63 years, Vera. He was 92. He was the proud father of Suzanne (Michael) Feinstein and Lori (Dean) Hoyland; and fun-loving Saba to Jeremy, Zachary and Marissa Cytryn and Meryl Feinstein (Adam Steene). He was the youngest brother of the late Philip and Fred Deckelbaum. He will be missed by his many nephews, nieces, cherished cousins and dear friends.
Born and raised in the District of Columbia, he was a graduate of Roosevelt High School, University of Maryland (BSA) and Georgetown University Law School (JD and LLM). He was a captain in the Air Force JAG Corps during the Korean War.
Professionally, he began as a civil litigation attorney in the District and Virginia. In 1965, he and his law partner, the late Bernard Margolius, founded Mardeck, Ltd., a hotel management and development company. He served as president of the International Association of Holiday Inns and received the Kemmons Wilson Award. He was a founding member and president of the Conference and Visitors Bureau of Montgomery County.
Ralph was a longstanding member of Congregation Beth El of Montgomery County and one of the founders of the early morning minyan. He served as president of the Hebrew Home of Greater Washington and during his tenure started the expansion that culminated in the opening of the Ring House. Ralph was recognized for his volunteer leadership and philanthropic support. He and Vera received the Hebrew Home’s Aunt Minnie Goldsmith Award for outstanding volunteer service to the community and the Jewish Social Service Agency President’s Award. Ralph was awarded the prestigious Hymen Goldman Service Award from Charles E. Smith Life Communities and the Lamplighter Award from the Chabad Lubavitch of Maryland.
The family expresses gratitude for the wonderful care by JSSA Hospice and his caregiver, Karen Garcia. Donations can be made to Congregation Beth El of Montgomery County or Charles E. Smith Life Communities. Arrangements entrusted to Torchinsky Hebrew Funeral Home.