Ralph Eckley was a Monmouth native, born in 1901, a graduate of Monmouth College, and was for decades a reporter for the local newspaper. He continued his hobby of flying long after retirement and even enjoyed riding a motorcycle. He died in 1989 after recurrent periods of severe illnesses. 

Article from after 1984, printed in the Monmouth Daily Review-Atlas.

He was very ill for long periods in the late Eighties. During one long stay in a Peoria hospital, everyone had given up hope, but a young nurse managed to get him to rally. He never recovered fully, of course, but he was able to live on his own.

This is among his last columns:

The Review-Atlas editor wrote this after his death: