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Obituary for Ralph Maisel
In the wee hours of the morning of June 20, Ralph Maisel transitioned peacefully from this life after suffering a very long illness. Ralph was born in Pampa, Texas to parents Charles and Ruth Maisel. He attended school in Texas at Odessa High School, Odessa Community College and the University of Texas in Austin. His fascination with architecture began when he was a Junior in high school, designing Swiss Chalet homes for a large custom home builder, Bell Beck; and then on to his senior year, working as a draftsman for a local architectural firm. During college, he did drafting work for Calcasieu Lumber Company in Austin, which was somewhat like the old Cowboy Maloney Lumber Company in Jackson: "Buy your materials and appliances here and get free plans." He has resided in the Jackson area since 1961. His professional career involved many significant projects all over the state of Mississippi, including large projects for the State Universities, the US Department of Interior, the MSHD Interstate Hospitality Centers, Healthcare and Educational projects as well as Office Buildings and Historic Restoration/Renovation work. He much enjoyed working with his former partner, Skip Tuminello, for many years on upscale period homes. His great joy was designing numerous churches over the state. In these churches, he designed the custom furniture and woodwork and then subcontracted with Mississippi wood crafters to construct the work under his supervision. A special thrill for him, in partnership with his wife Lisa, was conducting "Church Development" for numerous churches in Mississippi and Alabama to help them to accomplish their vision(s). He believed that during his career, he “said grace” over just about every building-type that can be built. He shared design awards in Mississippi while employed with Godfrey Bassett Pitts and Tuminelllo, Architects where he became a Principal partner in 1979. Those awards involved the National Park Service for the Gunboat Cairo Museum, the U.S. Department of Transportation for Interstate Hospitality Stations, and an AIA Merit Design Award for Anshe Chesed Synagogue in Vicksburg. Mr. Maisel's payback to his beloved profession was serving as State Coordinator of the Intern Development Program for the Mississippi State Board of Architecture; National Committee Member of the Intern Development Program Collateral Committee for AIA/NCARB; National Committee Member of the Intern Development Program for NCARB; Preceptor and Lecturer at the Mississippi State University School of Architecture; Emeritus Director for the Mississippi AIA Board of Directors; and Founder and Chairman for Commission on Architecture for the Episcopal Diocese of Mississippi. In 2009, he received Life Service Awards from the Mississippi Chapter of the American Institute of Architects and the Mississippi State Board of Architecture for mentoring a generation of emerging architects as State Coordinator for the Intern Development Program, involving both local and national committees and their interns. His community participation included: Member-at-Large for the Mississippi Episcopal Diocese, Division of Youth; Vestryman for St. Peter’s by the Lake Episcopal Church, Brandon; Church Clerk for All Saints Episcopal Church, Jackson; District Chairman for Children’s Miracle Network; Board Member for the Friends of Children’s Hospital; President for the North Jackson Kiwanis Club; Member of Mission Mississippi for Racial Reconciliation; Graduate of EFM (Four Year Theological Program, University of the South, Sewanee); Mentor for the EFM Program; Member of the Order of St. Luke, the Physician; and Little League Baseball Coach and Commissioner. After retiring from architecture, in 2009 he found a new passion to fulfill his life. Having served in numerous ministries in church life, two of which included preaching and membership in the Order of St. Luke the Physician (a healing order), he became a Chaplain for the River Oaks Hospital System. He often said, "I wake up in the morning and can hardly wait to get to the hospital!" There he developed deep relationships with many of his patients and always gave God all the credit for restoration and healing that resulted from those visits. There he ministered to the nurses, staff and patients with all that he had to give. Ralph was deeply committed to, and loved Jesus, his Lord, his wonderful family, his church, his many friendships, architecture and his Chaplaincy. He believed that the important crowns in Heaven will be people we have touched on this earth and for whom we made a difference. Ralph is survived by his loving wife, Lisa; his children, Nick Maisel (Tiffanie), Ty Maisel (Elaine), Ben Maisel, Claire Maisel and Katie Leach (Jamey); 8 grandchildren; and 2 great-grandchildren. He is predeceased by his father and mother, Charles and Ruth Maisel; and his two brothers, Chuck and Bob Maisel. Funeral services are at 10:00 AM on Monday, June 25, at St. Peter’s by the Lake Episcopal Church, 1954 Spillway Road, Brandon, MS 39047, with visitation after the service in the Parish Hall. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to the Order of St. Luke the Physician, in care of St. Peter's-by-the-Lake Episcopal Church, 1954 Spillway Road, Brandon, MS, 39047, to support the ministries of healing in Christ's name.