RALEIGH | Ralph Carr Heath, 89, of Raleigh died January 12, 2015. He was born on July 10, 1925, in Lenoir County, North Carolina, the son of William Curt and Lucy Daughery Heath. Ralph entered UNC Chapel Hill on July 1, 1943, as a member of the first U.S. Navy
V-12 program and was commissioned as an Ensign at the New York Midshipman School at Columbia University on April 23, 1945. His naval career included serving as navigator, gunnery, and supply officer on Yard Minesweeper 218 during minesweeping operations at Pusan, Korea, and at Bikini Atoll in the Marshall Islands in preparation for the Operation Crossroads atomic-bomb tests. After discharge from the Navy he returned to UNC Chapel Hill, receiving a BS degree in geology in 1948. During a career as a hydrogeologist with the U.S. Geological Survey from 1948 to 1982, he worked in Florida, New York, Connecticut, Rhode Island, and North Carolina. His positions in the Geological Survey included that of Acting District Engineer in Tallahassee, District Geologist in Albany for New York and southern New England, District Chief of New York, and District Chief in Raleigh for North Carolina. While serving as District Chief in Albany he taught courses in groundwater hydrology at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute at Troy, N.Y. Following retirement from the Geological Survey, Mr. Heath began a second career as a consulting hydrogeologist. He also became an Adjunct Professor of Civil Engineering at NC State University, Lecturer in the Department of Forestry and Environmental Studies at Duke University, and Adjunct Professor of Geology at East Carolina University. He taught courses in groundwater hydrology at NC State and Carolina in the 1980's and at Duke into the 1990's. Later, he taught short courses in the Duke Senior Executive Program, for the National Research Council in Denver, for the NC State University Soil Science Department, and for Olson Enterprises of Tabor City, N.C. Mr. Heath was the author or co-author of more than 70 scientific publications, including an introductory groundwater textbook and hydrogeologic maps of the United States and of North America. His Geological Survey publication entitled Basic Ground-water Hydrology has been printed 10 times, and translated versions have been printed in both Germany and Brazil. His professional honors include both Distinguished Lecturer and the Henry Darcy Distinguished Lecturer of the National Ground Water Association, the first Founders Award of the American Institute of Hydrology, Award for Distinguished Service in Hydrogeology of the Geological Society of America, and the Meritorious Service Award of the U.S. Department of the Interior. He was preceded in death by his beautiful and ever-loving wife of 65 years, Martha, whom he met in Miami, Florida in 1945 while attending the Navy's Advanced Line Officers School and whom he married in 1947. Survivors include his son, William Curt Heath of Raleigh; daughter, Susan Ann Heath Johnson of Chapel Hill; and four grandchildren, Sarah of Raleigh, Matthew of Chapel Hill, David of Manassas, Virginia, and Samuel of Purcellville, Virginia. A funeral service will be held on Sunday, January 18, 2015, at 3 p.m. with a visitation being held from 2-3 p.m. at Mitchell Funeral Home, 7209 Glenwood Ave., Raleigh, NC. Interment will follow at Raleigh Memorial Park Mausoleum. Condolences may be made online at MitchellatRMP.com.
In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to Transitions Life Care, http://transitionslifecare.org/.
Arrangements are by Mitchell Funeral Home, Raleigh. Sign the guest book at Kinston.com.