Spotlight on a Hurleyville Treasure: UPS Ralph

By Kathleen Sullivan
Ralph Berger


Ralph Berger (known by everyone in Hurleyville as “UPS Ralph” to distinguish him from “Town Ralph” Burger), the son of Solo­mon and Pearl Berger, was born on December 9, 1936 in Brooklyn, New York.

Along with his parents and younger brother Lionel, Ralph spent his summers in Mountaindale where he de­veloped a fascination with agriculture and farm ani­mals.

Ralph attended Newtown High School in Elmhurst, New York. His curriculum in agriculture at the school required him to work on a farm during summer break, and he was able to work on the dairy farm owned by the Budd family in Moun­taindale.

Upon graduation from high school Ralph moved to Sul­livan County and worked at the Farmers’ Co-op in Wo­odridge. While working at the co-op Ralph met Mary Lou Shaddock from Wal­dorf Avenue in Hurleyville. Ralph and Mary flirted and dated for three months be­fore marrying on June 7, 1959.

Ralph and Mary were the parents of three children: Mitch, Suanne and Penny. The family moved from Mountaindale to the old Os­terhout farm in Hurleyville in 1966.

An employee of UPS for twenty-five years, Ralph re­tired from the firm in 1999. He enjoyed spending time with his family which now included seven grandchil­dren. His family fondly remembers him working outside taking care of his home and nodding off in his recliner. Ralph and Mary enjoyed traveling. Their trips often included visits to family and friends.

Ralph loved Hurleyville, his “hometown” and was an active member of the Hur­leyville Fire Department.

In 2004 Ralph learned that Hurleyville was the home­town of Congressional Medal of Honor recipient, Francis Currey. He made a presentation to the Town Board of Fallsburg request­ing the board to officially honor Mr. Currey. Ralph was a member of the com­mittee of Hurleyville resi­dents that was formed to organize the first Francis Currey Day parade and ceremony that was held in Hurleyville on July 10, 2004. The committee also had Hurleyville’s Main Street re-named Francis Currey Boulevard.

Ralph passed away in 2010. He is remembered by fam­ily, friends and neighbors as a warm, caring and honest man with a wonderful sense of humor.

Ralph is one of Hur­leyville’s many wonderful treasures.

Ralph Berger (left), poses with Congressional Medal of Honor recipient Francis Currey at the monument erected in Hurleyville in his honor in September of 2004.

Please visit www.hurleyvil­ to find more trea­sures in Hurleyville.