Ralph E. Handran, O.S.A.

1907 – 1972 (December 15)

Ralph Ellsworth Handran, son of Herman Handran and Mary Ellsworth Rose, was born in Gloucester, Massachusetts, on December 8, 1907. Following his elementary education, he attended Augustinian Academy as a postulant and was received into the novitiate on September 9, 1929. He professed simple vows on September 10, 1930, and solemn vows on September 10, 1933. He graduated from Villanova College in 1934 and pursued theological studies in Washington, D.C. He was ordained a priest on June 15, 1937, in Washington, by Bishop James McIntire. An accomplished musician, Father Handran received a master’s degree in Music from the Catholic University, Washington, DC in 1938.

His first assignment in 1938 was to Villanova College where he taught American literature and music and moderated the nationally honored band. He was also chaplain to Rosemont College from 1940-1943.

In 1943 he was commissioned a Naval Chaplain and served in the major battles in the Pacific Theatre including Wake Island, the Marshalls, Marianas, Luzon and Formosa as well as the Inchon, Korea in the early 1950’s. He was also stationed at Naples, Italy for many years. Father Handran had returned to Villanova for four years, from 1947 to 1951, but was recommisioned in 1951. He retired as a Commander in July 1968.

From 1968 until his death he served as director of the Augustinian House in Ocean City, New Jersey. Father died on December 15, 1972. His Funeral Mass was celebrated on December 18, 1972 in the chapel of Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, VA, where he was buried.