Ralph Edward Vance Obituary, Death – Dr. Ralph Brooks Vance, Sr., a wonderful husband, father, physician, teacher, and friend, died on June 25, 2022, at his home in Oxford. A memorial ceremony will be held at St. Peter’s Episcopal Church in Oxford on Monday, June 27 at noon. Ralph served as Junior Warden there and often read the scriptures with a loud voice that echoed throughout the church and commanded the attention of all who worshipped there. Prior to the service, there will be a visitation in the St. Peter’s Parish hall from 10:00 a.m. to noon.
Ralph was born on December 4, 1945, the son of the late Brooks Clois and Chrystine Gober Vance. He grew up in Jackson and attended Boyd Elementary School, Bailey Junior High School, and Murrah High School, which was then considered one of the best public institutions in the country. Ralph was the Murrah senior class president and was inducted into the Murrah Hall of Fame. His peers remember him as an extraordinary leader who could push others to achieve things they not only felt they couldn’t do, but didn’t even want to do. Ralph was endowed with outstanding leadership qualities even as a young man, and those skills, together with his many other talents, would reveal themselves in the accomplishments that followed Ralph throughout his life.
Ralph attended Ole Miss after graduating from Murrah in 1964, where he was a member of Sigma Chi Fraternity, was chosen Vice President of the Student Body, and was inducted into Phi Kappa Phi, the honors fraternity for high academic accomplishment. In addition, after he graduated in 1968, he was one of eight students elected into the Ole Miss Hall of Fame, the university’s greatest distinction.
Ralph then went on to the University of Mississippi Medical School in Jackson, where he graduated in 1972 and completed a residency in internal medicine before moving on to a fellowship in cancer. Ralph joined the med school faculty and would go on to teach there for 43 years, always with great passion, never losing the delight that came from seeing “the light go on” in students’ eyes when they came to understand a topic that he was teaching them. He also served as Chief of Staff at the medical school and retired as Professor Emeritus of Oncology, having spawned a slew of brilliant Mississippi oncologists.
Ralph was a fellow of the American College of Physicians and the National President of the American Cancer Society, which was one of his life’s main loves, along with teaching. Another of his loves was the Hope Lodge, which supports the families of Mississippi cancer patients. He was crucial in the fundraising that made Hope Lodge possible, as well as its inception and continuing operation. He also served on the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Mississippi Board of Directors.
Ralph and his wife Douglas retired to Oxford, where he will be recognized for his support of and involvement in numerous organizations. He was President of the Oxford Film Festival Board, a member of the Thacker Mountain Radio Board of Directors, and President of the J. D. Williams Library Board.
But, aside from his many accomplishments, which are not included here, Ralph will be remembered for his excellent sense of humor and ability to make people laugh. He will also be remembered as a man who was never too busy to spend time with his friends, students, and patients, as well as a compassionate and caring man with a kind and generous soul and a loving, giving heart. Those of us who were fortunate enough to call him a friend, a teacher, or a physician will carry memories of this extraordinary gifted man with us forever. Ralph Brooks Vance is survived by his wife, Mary Douglas Allen Vance, son Brooks (Rebecca) Vance, daughter Barrett Vance, and grandchildren Baron, Mae, Olivia, and Samuel Vance.