City of Oaks Funeral Home & Cremation

Ralph Carney

Durham, North Carolina

Age 89.
Died 12/29/2022.

Ralph Carney
Ralph John Carney passed from us on December 29, 2022, just two weeks before his 90th birthday. He was born to John and Edith (Stacey) Carney on January 11, 1933, in Cleveland, Ohio. As a young man, he joined the Army's 82nd Airborne Division and was stationed at Fort Bragg, NC. In 1954, he met Gladys Orr at a roller-skating rink in Raleigh. Ralph could skate faster backwards on one foot than most could skate forward and was expert in all the popular skate-dances. Gladys asked him if he knew how to skate the Flea-Hop, and the rest is history. They were married later that year at Grace Lutheran Church in Durham. After his discharge from the Army, they moved to Durham where Ralph became an apprentice Instrument Maker at Duke. The family relocated to Carrboro in 1960 when Ralph was hired by UNC Chapel Hill to design and fabricate research instruments for the Chemistry Department, eventually becoming the Supervisor of the Instrument Shop where among other roles, he helped hundreds of Chemistry PhD candidates achieve their degrees. He retired from UNC in 1987. This didn’t mean that he stopped working, though. He didn’t retire from his own small company, Ralph J Carney Analytical Balance Service, until he was almost 80.

Ralph had a brilliant analytical mind and could invent or repair anything. He loved woodworking and transformed his two-car garage into a full woodworking and metalworking shop. His creations ranged from adorable to clever to stunning, and each item was made with both love and precision. After Gladys passed away, he decided to pursue his dreams and became a world traveler, exploring with curiosity and wonder. At home, he dedicated his time to his Christus Victor Lutheran Church family, applying his technical skills to help effect repairs and renovations. A member of the church choir, he told us that the Bible says "Make a joyful noise..." and that his singing was just that. Joyful noise. Ralph was a skilled punster and always handy with a bad joke. He had a vast collection of humorous tee shirts, including: "You Can't Scare Me; I Have Three Daughters" and he meant it. His gerontologist called him fearless, because even after his stroke and advanced age that left him first with a walker and finally wheelchair-bound, he still loved exploring places like Helen, Georgia, Mayberry, and, most recently, Beaufort. Throughout his life, Ralph was the consummate caregiver and lived his faith through his kindness to others. He was a gentle soul whose natural good humor endeared him to everyone he met. He will be remembered and missed by all who knew him.

Ralph is survived by daughters Linda Salguero (Skip,) Carol Brown (Steve,) and Wendy Bentley; grandchildren Chris Jones (Heather,) David Brown, Daelyn Bentley-Gottel, Emma Bentley-Gottel; great-granddaughter Erica Jones; brothers Jim Carney (Marianna) of Avon, Ohio, and Paul Carney (Judy) of Conover, Ohio, and sister-in-law Marguerite Rowe of Durham.

Ralph is also survived by family-by-choice who began their relationship with us years ago as aides to help him with daily tasks, and through their loving care of him quickly became members of our family. Ethel Breeze, Michael Brooks, Tarshia Donald, Helen P. Green, and Sabrina Whitt made Ralph's last years happy as they cared for him as if he were their own. Tarshia became his "fourth daughter," and he passed from us while being hugged by Helen. We are grateful beyond words that he was encircled by love as he stepped into the light.

A celebration of Ralph's life will be held on Saturday, January 14, 2023 at 11:00 a.m. at Christus Victor Lutheran Church, 1615 East NC Highway 54, Durham, NC 27713. In lieu of flowers, donations in Ralph’s memory can be made to the Christus Victor Lutheran Church Renovation Fund. Donations in his memory will go toward installation of a much needed elevator that provides indoor access to both levels of the building to everyone, regardless of physical ability.

For additional information or for service details, please reach out to the family directly.

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City of Oaks Cremation and Funeral Home is a full-service funeral home in Raleigh, serving all of North Carolina and beyond. We provide an alternative to costly funeral homes and every day we help families in Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill and all over North Carolina make simple, affordable funeral arrangements.

Simply having to reach out to a funeral home can feel overwhelming. Our goal is to simplify the entire funeral home experience and make the process as easy as possible. We hope to eliminate any unnecessary surprises by publishing our total cost and the services we provide directly on our website. All of our obituaries are provided free of charge as a way to help families celebrate and commemorate the lives of their loved ones.

Our Promise

Apples to Apples

Just like all other licensed funeral homes in North Carolina, City of Oaks Cremation, LLC is regulated by the NC Board of Funeral Service.

The same laws that apply to the big corporate funeral homes also apply to the modest independently owned firms like ours. All crematories in North Carolina, regardless of who owns them, are inspected annually by the state and must adhere to the same rules and laws.

Genuine Care

We're committed to providing families within our community unsurpassed service before, during and after the time of loss.

Our staff will provide clear communication to your family through each step as we move forward from the original phone call notifying us of a death to the time we deliver the urn back to your family. We will treat your family with the utmost respect, as we honor the wishes of your loved one.

We promise to make this process affordable and as endurable as possible.

State Wide

Our Funeral Home is located in Wake County NC; however, we provide our services to families throughout the entire State.

Unlike other funeral homes, we don't charge an additional mileage fee. Regardless of what county you live in, we can help your family with making simple, affordable funeral arrangements. From Asheville to Wilmington, we're proud to help families statewide.

Our Services

Direct Cremation


Nobody likes surprise costs added in at the last minute. We guarantee you will not find any hidden charges here. We include everything you need for a simple or direct cremation. Simple, affordable and reliable. We have not changed the cost of our direct cremation service since we opened City of Oaks in 2012.

Cremation with Solidified Remains


We offer the option of choosing how you receive your loved ones remains. Selecting our Direct Cremation with Solidified Remains option is a beautiful way to transform cremated remains into 40-60 “stones” that you can hold.

Cremation with Visitation


City of Oaks Funeral Home and Cremation provides an affordable cremation option with onsite visitation. Nobody likes surprise costs added in at the last minute. We guarantee you will not find any hidden charges here. Simple, affordable and reliable.

Immediate Burial


An immediate burial has the same end result as a traditional burial; however, we have eliminated the extra (sometimes unnecessary) services prior to getting to the cemetery. Not everyone wants an open casket for viewing or a limousine for the family. Despite the term immediate, we can move as fast as you need or as slow as you like. This option simply allows you to save money by eliminating some of the fancy extras at the funeral home.

Traditional Funeral


We offer the same traditional funeral services as the big corporately owned funeral homes in the area; however, we cost about half the amount. You might consider a traditional funeral service if your family is looking for an open casket visitation, a traditional church service or a funeral service in the funeral home's chapel. A traditional funeral service can be altered to fit the needs of your family.

Green Burial


This establishment is one of a select number of funeral homes who meet the criteria for providing green funeral service by the Green Burial Council; a tax-exempt, nonprofit organization working to encourage environmentally sustainability in the field of funeral service. Our Green options allow for a funeral to take place without the use of toxic and non-biodegradable materials/chemicals.



As an alternative to traditional cremation, City of Oaks Funeral Home also offers Aquamation. The Aquamation process, often referred to as alkaline hydrolysis, uses a solution of water and potassium hydroxide to facilitate natural decomposition.

City of Oaks Funeral Home & Cremations