Ralph Blaine Priestley Jr. passed away at home in Gloucester, Virginia, on April 30, 2022. He was born on Chicago’s South Side to the late Mary Agnes Jensen and Ralph Blaine Priestley on May 5, 1940. Ralph was preceded in death by his high school sweetheart, wife, and soulmate of 61 years, JoAnn Williamson Priestley. Ralph is survived by his beloved children, Tamara Priestley (Gloucester), Lori Priestley (Oak Ridge, Tenn.), Terry Priestley (Bisbee, Ariz.), and Kory Priestley (Gloucester Point); and his much-loved six grandchildren, Blaine, Holly, Gabriel, Peyton, Morgan, and Sophie, and three great-grandchildren, Maddox, Zaynah, and Alexia. Following a 30-year career with the Federal Aviation Administration, Ralph settled in Gloucester and considered it home. He took great pride working in various roles with Gloucester Parks, Recreation, and Tourism. He believed in giving back to his community by driving the senior bus on excursions, working the youth basketball and t-ball games, helping at the Visitor Center as well as creating the trails at Beaverdam Park. Ralph loved his family, teaching his children to never be afraid to take chances and live life to its fullest. He appreciated the natural world and traveling with JoAnn (visiting all 50 states and over 30 countries).
Additionally, he enjoyed cheering on the Chicago Cubs from the friendly confines of Wrigley Field.
Ralph also loved boating and taught boating safety classes through the Coast Guard Auxiliary. In earlier years, he enjoyed scuba diving, flying airplanes, hot air balloons, and teaching his grandchildren how to build various projects. He always encouraged his children, grand- and great-grandchildren that they should give their best effort in all that they endeavor. He didn’t miss many opportunities to explore and share experiences with his family. Ralph loved life and all people. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Billy Moore Fund at Gloucester Parks and Recreation, 6382 Main St., Gloucester, Va. 23061, which helps to cover the cost of youth and senior programs. Interment will be at Arlington National Cemetery at a later date.
Services under the direction of Hogg Funeral Home.