Surviving Son of Two Marshall Plane Crash Victims to Keynote Annual Memorial Fountain Ceremony

Updated 4 weeks ago
Surviving Son of Two Marshall Plane Crash Victims to Keynote Annual Memorial Fountain Ceremony

A physician, and Marshall alumnus who lost both parents in the 1970 plane crash is the keynote speaker for the 49th Memorial Fountain Ceremony. 

Matthew Murrill Ralsten and Helen Ralsten, both Marshall graduates, were among the 24 athletic boosters who died with 51 players, coaches and staff on Nov. 14, 1970 when Southern Airways Flight 932 crashed when approaching Tri-State Airport in Kenova. At noon on Thursday, Dr. Matthew M. Ralsten III will honor their legacy. 

“My sister [Mollie] and I lost both of our parents,” said Ralsten. “The impact of such a loss is hard to describe, but we were very fortunate to have been raised by our amazing extended family.”

“The loss of the 75 lives that tragic evening included many of the leaders in our academic, business and political community, as well as the players, coaches, pilots and crew,” he added. “The ceremony allows us to remember our loved ones while allowing us to also celebrate the amazing progress our school and community continues to achieve.”

At the time, Murrill operated The Ralsten Ltd, a Huntington clothing store, and was a member of the city council. a clothing store called The Ralsten Ltd. and was also a member of Huntington City Council. Helen was a school teacher in Chesapeake, Ohio. 

A 2002 graduate of the Marshall University School of Medicine, Ralsten now works as an obstetrician-gynecologist in Fayetteville, Ga., where he lives with his wife, Tammy, a 1996 Marshall graduate with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing.  

The Ralstens have twin adult children - Matthew Murrill IV, and Helen Claire Ralsten - 
who attend the University of South Carolina, and Georgia, respectively.

The Memorial Fountain Ceremony can be viewed live at www.marshall.edu/it/livestream.

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