Hurricane Katrina

Ralph Dagnall, 73, Bay St. Louis

BAY ST. LOUIS - An electrical engineer for Westinghouse, Ralph Dagnall chose to transfer to Bay St. Louis instead of Santa Barbara, Calif., because he wanted his daughters to grow up in a small-town atmosphere.

He and wife Joan came to the Bay from Pittsburgh in 1969.

"They moved here the day before Camille hit," said their daughter, Nicole Cleveland. "They came down here and were staying at the Driftwood Motel when the hurricane hit. When they woke up, more than half the hotel was gone. That's the story we heard growing up."

The Dagnalls reared their three daughters, Georgiana, Nicole and Jennifer, in the Bay and built a Spanish-style concrete house on Beach Boulevard. He served as secretary of the Bay-Waveland Beachfront Association.

In retirement, he spent his time fishing, flying his Beachcraft Bonanza or tinkering with his computer.

"If there was someone he didn't even know who had a child who needed to get to St. Jude Children's Hospital, he would fly them," Cleveland said. "Everybody knew my parents. I guess they were just approachable."

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