Ralph Feil ’67

Ralph Lyttelton Feil passed away on Sunday morning, January 27, 2019. Ralph was born on July 24, 1945, in Rochester New York, one of three children of Neville and Ralph Feil. He was predeceased by his parents.

Ralph is survived by his wife of 48 years, Punkie Peterson Feil, of Charlottesville, his three daughters, whom he adored, Katherine F. Rhadans and her husband Matt of Odessa Mo., Elizabeth F. Matthews and her husband Steve of Charlottesville and Bethany F. Taibl and her husband Andy of Richmond. He is also survived by seven grandchildren, Sumner, Witten and Woods Dowdy and Waylon Rhadans of Odessa Mo., Bailey and Oliver Taibl of Richmond, and Colbie Matthews of Charlottesville. His grandchildren called him Bobby.

He is also survived by his brother and wife, Jimmy and Annie Sharolyn Feil of Florida; his sister and husband, Nancy and John Lowry of Charlottesville; and his sister-in-law, Peri P. Wentworth of W. Yarmouth, MA. Also, surviving are five nieces and 3 nephews. Although Ralph was born in and lived in Rochester NY for one year, he was a true son of Charlottesville. He grew up in Charlottesville with his aunts and uncles and 10 first cousins.

Surviving him are his Aunt Margaret Wood and cousins: Jan Armentrout Redick, Teddy, and Richard Armentrout, John (Moose), David, Gordon Morris and Martha Morris Watson; Douglas and Lyt Wood and Margaret (Tot) Wood Ball, seeing them on almost a daily bases. He loved each cousin, their spouses and their children deeply. Family and friends were the highlight of Ralph’s days. He was inclusive to all he met.

Ralph attended Charlottesville Public Schools and Woodberry Forest. He graduated from Lane High School where he was a student athlete, school leader and valedictorian of his class. He received his undergraduate and law degrees from the University of Virginia. He served as Chairman of the University’s Judiciary Committee. He was a member of Sigma Phi Epsilon, Phi Alpha Delta, the Raven Society and Omicron Delta Kappa.

Upon graduation from law school Ralph began practicing law with McGuire Woods and Battle, then joined Dick Barrick and eventually formed the firm of Feil, Pettit and Williams. He was an excellent lawyer with fairness as his guiding yardstick. He was always appreciative of his partners of over 40 years, David Franzen, David Pettit, Richard Howard Smith, J. Page Williams, and especially his longtime and devoted secretary Beverly Robertson.

He served as a U. S. Magistrate from 1974 – 1978, was a member and former President of the Charlottesville-Albemarle Bar Association, served on and chaired the Seventh District Ethics Committee, was a member of the Virginia Bar Association, the Virginia Trial Lawyers Association, The American Bar Association, and the Thomas Jefferson American Inn of Court.

Ralph was a member of the Charlottesville Area Community Foundation Governing Board for over fifteen years and served as its Chairman from December 2005 through December 2007. During Ralph’s leadership, the Foundation experienced unprecedented asset growth, extended its service to counties surrounding Charlottesville, and initiated outreach to community youth through creation of a Youth Service Award Committee. 

He served on the Board of Directors for Foods of All Nations, Farmington Country Club, he was past President and current Secretary Treasurer of the Bellair Homeowners Association for 30 year, and just recently became involved with The Center (formerly the Senior Center).  

Ralph was never happier than when he was entertaining his family and friends. He was the founder and host of the Sandy Point Golf Invitational, only playing Paradise Rules and enjoyed by his many golfing buddies. He often reminisced about happy hours enjoyed with his closest friends; Rick Carter, Chuck Hammer, Wally Nunley, Mac Peatross, Greg Shelly, and Ronnie Tweel. Ralph never knew a stranger, he loved people and life.

A public visitation will be held from 4 until 6 p.m. on Wednesday, January 30, 2019 at Hill and Wood Funeral Home. Funeral services will be held at Christ Episcopal Church, 120 High Street West, Charlottesville, at 1:30 p.m. on Thursday, January 31, 2019.

In lieu of flowers, please make a donation to the Charlottesville Area Community Foundation, 114 4th St SE, Charlottesville, VA 22902 or The Center, 491 Hillsdale Drive, Charlottesville, VA 22901. Friends may sign the guest book at www.hillandwood.com