In Memory

Ralph Stoffer (Science Teacher) VIEW PROFILE

Ralph Stoffer (Science Teacher)

Ralph Erwin Stoffer, 99, July 15, 1914, of Cedar Mill, passed away May 16, 2014, at the Maryville Nursing Home of complications following a stroke. He would have turned 100 in July. Ralph was born and raised on a farm near Bethany and lived in Beaverton and Cedar Mill most of his life. His interest in both the natural and the civilized world was boundless. As a teacher in Beaverton (Beaverton and Sunset High Schools) as well as in Reedsport and Coquille, he brought his enthusiasm for science, electronics, horticulture and Spanish to a huge number of students. He was active as a master gardener and pursued a lifelong interest in studying and cultivating bamboo, in which he was an early, local expert. Some of his fondest memories came from a round-the-world trip he made with his wife of 68 years, Lucile. She predeceased him in April 2013. He leaves behind a loving family: sisters, Edith and Lorena; sons, Fred (Shelley) and Jim; grandsons, Vincent and John; and two great-grandchildren. Ralph was given wonderful care during the last year and a half at Maryville Nursing Home. A memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. Sunday, June 22, 2014, at Christ United Methodist Church, 12755 N.W. Dogwood St., Portland. 

Published in The Oregonian from June 6 to June 8, 2014

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06/18/14 01:58 PM #1    

Linda Runes (Mahaffey)

     Mr. Stoffer was one of those special teachers in that he presented material in such a way that it kindled an interest.  It was that way for me at least.  He was an easy man to learn from.  I enjoyed him and his class a great deal.

     God bless those who remain who mourn his passing.            Linda Runes Mahaffey

04/25/15 04:42 PM #2    

Terry Schumacher

I just thought you might want to see the photo that was included in Mr. Stoffer's obituary.


04/26/15 02:03 PM #3    

Charlene Thompson (Wyatt)

I remember his understanding way and his kind eyes even when I questioned and asked "why."

04/26/15 02:08 PM #4    

Richard Chalfan

I took two years of Electronics from Mr. Stoffer.  It was one of the science courses that strongly influenced my future education and work.

Electronics class was always full of unexpected events.  When he tought us about capacitors, he charged one of the larger ones (he had several that were good sized) and showed us the spark it could generate.  That gave one of my fellow students the idea to charge all of them before the next class so Mr. Stoffer would shock himself when he picked the capacitor up!  Well, sadly for Mr. Stoffer, it worked.  So Mr. Stoffer soldered a piece of insulated wire across each capacitor so they couldn't be charged. 

Nice idea, but the student who perpetrated the initial shocking experience unsoldered the wires, cut a piece out of the middle of each wire and reinserted the now unconnected wire pieces into the insulation and soldered the ends back.  So now they looked the same, but the wire was cut and it would no longer would stop the capacitors from taking a charge.  Then before class he charged them again.  Poor Mr. Stoffer got shocked again!  While he wasn't happy about the experience and expressed his displeasure, he also recognized the ingenuity involved and took the entire affair with supreme patience and grace, far more than most teachers would have.  That patience and grace was one aspect of his greatness as a teacher as he turned what could have been an expulsion into a year long running joke.  And no, I wasn't the joker in the class (and I don't recall who it was)!

He certainly ranked among the most influential teacher I had. 

Richard Chalfan

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