Cover photo for Ralph Jay Cheney's Obituary
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1937 Ralph Jay Cheney 2024

Ralph Jay Cheney

May 25, 1937 — March 20, 2024

Kalamazoo, Michigan

Ralph Jay Cheney of Kalamazoo, Michigan, died on March 20, 2024, at the age of 86. Ralph was born in Mount Clemens, Michigan, on May 25, 1937, to the late Cooley and Viola (Nicke) Cheney. In 1997, he married Lenore (Parzynski) Setlik. Ralph and Lenore were married for 27 years.

Ralph attended and graduated from Denby High School in Detroit, Michigan. While in high school, Ralph earned a varsity letter as a member of the swim team. At around the age of 20, Ralph took a coming-of-age road trip out west with a camera given to him by his brother, Norm. He spent six weeks hiking and touring national parks and photographing the scenery. Ralph eventually joined the Detroit Police Academy and became employed as a police officer for the City of Detroit. During his 25 years with the police department, Ralph achieved the rank of Seargeant, then Lieutenant, before finally retiring in 1985.

In his free time, Ralph kept himself busy with a variety of hobbies and interests. He loved woodworking and he used those skills to make kids toys, furniture, and various items for arts and craft shows. Adept in the kitchen, Ralph was always delighted to cook and bake for his family. He was especially known for his seasonal specialties –apple pie in the Fall, Minestrone soup in the Winter, and special chocolate peanut butter ball candies around Christmas. He also derived great pleasure from gardening, golfing, traveling, hiking, and casinos.

Ralph is survived by his beloved wife; his children, Pamela (John) Adams and Deb (Jim McIntyre) Foote; stepchildren, Mary (Victor) Hui-Wee and Mark (Ayuko) Setlik; son-in-law, Henry Tompkins; grandchildren, Alisa Foote, Brandan (Stephanie Watkins) Foote, Joey Tompkins, Connor Hui-Wee, Samantha Hui-Wee, Austin Hui-Wee, and Annika Setlik; many nieces, nephews, great-nieces and -nephews, great-great-nieces and -nephews, and many dear friends.

Ralph was preceded in death by his parents; former spouses, Gail and Bess; daughter, Karen Tompkins; siblings, Norm (Doris) Cheney, Mary Lou (Bob) Fischer, Dan (Sue) Cheney.

Visitation and funeral services will be held on Wednesday, March 27, at Langeland Family Funeral Homes Burial and Cremation Services, 3926 S 9th Street, Kalamazoo, MI 49009, with visitation from 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm, and the funeral beginning at 4:00 pm. 

Memorial donations may be made in Ralph’s honor to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital or American Macular Degeneration Foundation. To leave an online condolence, visit https://www.langelands.com

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Ralph Jay Cheney, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Visitation

Wednesday, March 27, 2024

2:00 - 4:00 pm (Eastern time)

Langeland Family Funeral Homes, Westside Chapel

3926 South 9th Street, Kalamazoo, MI 49009

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Funeral Service

Wednesday, March 27, 2024

4:00 - 5:00 pm (Eastern time)

Langeland Family Funeral Homes, Westside Chapel

3926 South 9th Street, Kalamazoo, MI 49009

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

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