Ralph Dungey, 97, drives his Meals on Wheels route with his stepson on Dec. 1.

This is part of a weekly series introducing readers to individuals who are passionate about our Mid-Valley community.

Every Thursday for the past 30 years, Ralph Dungey of Keizer has made sure more than a dozen of his neighbors get a hot meal through the local Meals on Wheels program.

For years, his wife helped him deliver meals around town. Since her death, his stepson Curt has been his assistant.

Dungey, now 97, was born in 1925 and was raised on a small farm in Fairfield, a small Marion County community nearly 6 miles from St. Paul that no longer exists. It remains marked by a sign that Dungey said the community requested. 

“Otherwise those kinds of places disappear,” he said. 

There were never more than 24 people at his school and a single teacher for all grades.

During wartime, the Fairfield children were bussed to Gervais High School. He laughs remembering how small the high school was compared to what it has transformed into. He was drafted during his senior year, joining troops in the Army’s 76th Division during World War II.

He was deployed to England, Belgium, Germany and Japan. 

Ralph Dungey, 97, a World War II veteran, has lived in Keizer since 1950.

A Purple Heart honors the only time he was wounded, he said, shot near the German border in 1945. 

“The bomb, it probably saved my life,” he said. 

After the end of World War II, he moved to Keizer in 1950. He met and married Mary, the mother of his three daughters. The couple quickly settled into the community and Dungey still lives in the house that was built just for them in 1956.





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