Ramsey H. Chew, 79, of Germantown, co-owner of Chew Funeral Home in South Philadelphia, died of lung cancer Dec. 8 at home.

Mr. Chew was born in South Philadelphia in his family's residence, which also housed the funeral business his father, Charles Jr., established in the 1920s.

Until he became ill last spring, Mr. Chew operated the funeral home with his brother Charles 3d. He was highly respected in the community and in the African American funeral industry, his daughter Deborah James said.

He was a graduate of Temple University High School, attended Howard University in Washington for two years, and graduated from Eckles College of Mortuary Science in Philadelphia. He served in an Army graves division in Korea during the Korean War.

Mr. Chew enjoyed painting, model building and boating. In 1962, his daughter said, he built a 20-foot motorboat, which he later donated to a youth group. For more than 40 years, he was an active member of Club Ashanti, an African American social organization in Philadelphia.

Since 1951, he was married to Marjorie Gilliam Chew, who had been his teenage sweetheart. In addition to his wife, daughter, and brother, Mr. Chew is survived by a son, Ramsey Jr.; a daughter, Diane Bowser; a brother, James; and five grandchildren.

A memorial service will be at 11 a.m. tomorrow at St. Luke's Episcopal Church, 5421 Germantown Ave., Philadelphia.