Ralph F. Keil passed away after a prolonged battle with Parkinson’s. He is survived by his wife of 38 years, Darlene Watson Sammons Keil, who he adored, and together they sailed the Chesapeake and traveled to Africa, Europe, and the Far East. The only son of Anne (Kassell) and David S. Keil, Ralph was born and raised in Wilmington. He was a Bar Mitzvah and Confirmation student at Congregation Beth Emeth. Ralph attended PS DuPont High School and University of Delaware, class of 1953. He received his Doctor of Jurisprudence from Dickinson Law School in 1955 and served as a LT in the U.S. Navy as a JAG Officer and Base Legal Officer at Clarksville Base, AFSWP in TN from 1956-1959.

A member of the Delaware Bar Association, Ralph was honored for 50 years of membership in 2009. In 1960, he was Assistant U.S. Attorney for the District of Delaware and from 1973-1975, he served as U.S. Attorney for the District of Delaware under U.S. Attorney Richard Thornburg. He joined his father and uncle as an attorney in the Keil & Keil Law Firm from 1961-1972 and maintained a private practice from 1975-2011.

In addition to his professional legal career, Ralph was the founder and general contractor of Royal Oak Builders. Ralph was a member of Alpha Epsilon Pi Fraternity, a Shriner, and was a 32nd Degree Mason. He served on the Board of Directors of the Kutz Home in Wilmington.

An avid sailor, Ralph captained the Anbeli, a sailboat named after his three daughters, and sailed the Sassafras River and Chesapeake Bay. His interests and hobbies included shortwave radio, photography, painting, growing orchids, fresh water and fly fishing, and model airplanes and trains. He was an inquisitive, lifelong learner and enjoyed reading and taking classes at Osher Lifelong Learning Institute for more than a decade. Ralph and Darlene traveled to Australia, New Zealand, Africa, Kenya, Europe, England, China, Italy, Caribbean, Costa Rica, Alaska, Hawaii and all 48 states in the continental U.S. and the District of Columbia.

In addition to his wife Darlene, survivors include daughters Andria Keil Bilan (Peter), Beth Keil (Jim Egnor), Lisa Keil Cartwright (Allen); Jon Schneider (Wendy), Tracy Pritt, Glee Corona and Michele Sammons, of blessed memory; grandchildren Peter Bilan, Andrew Bilan (Alexis), James Ryan (Jessi), Austin Egnor-Keil, Eli Cartwright, Benjamin Cartwright, Stephanie Schneider, Kurt Schneider, Scott Schneider (Meredyth), Jacob Pritt, Chelsea Corona, Olivia Lloyd, and Ian Lloyd; and great-grandchildren Azaelia Bilan and Zander Bilan.

The family extends its heartfelt thanks to the staff of Cornerstone Health Partners, especially Molly, Jessica, Katie, Lex, Amber and Robin for their compassionate care, and the staff of Delaware Hospice, especially Joelle, Juli and Beverly, for their palliative care, home health care and support.   

A practical and pragmatic man, Ralph was genuine and direct in his dealings with people. He lived his life believing that integrity and honesty are key attributes. The world was a better place because of him, and his legacy will live through his children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren.

Services will be private burial to be held at Delaware Veterans Memorial Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations can be made to: 

Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at the University of Delaware, Wilmington Campus, 115 Arsht Hall, 2700 Pennsylvania Avenue, Wilmington, DE 19806-1169, www.lifelonglearning.udel.edu/wilm,   

Delaware Hospice, 16 Polly Drummond Shopping Center, 2nd Floor, Newark, DE, 19711, https://www.delawarehospice.org/donate/, or a charity of your choice.

For online condolences, please visit www.chandlerfuneralhome.com.