Ernest L. Ransome III, 86, of Okatie, S.C., and formerly of Camden County, a nationally ranked college athlete who earned the 1995 Ike Grainger Award from the U.S. Golf Association for more than 25 years of volunteer work, died Sunday, May 5, at the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston.

A 16-year resident of Okatie, he previously resided at Pine Valley Golf Club in Pine Valley, Camden County, a daughter, Elizabeth Ransome, said Tuesday.

Mr. Ransome since 1988 had been board chairman of his family firm, Giles & Ransome Inc., distributor of heavy construction equipment, with headquarters in Bensalem.

He was vice president from 1966 to 1986 of Ransome Airlines, a former regional carrier based in Philadelphia.

And he was not only a board member of several South Jersey firms but an award-winning amateur golfer.

A 1944 graduate of Phillips Exeter Academy, Mr. Ransome was a Marine officer before earning a bachelor's degree in economics at Princeton University in 1947.

The University of St. Andrews in Scotland later awarded him an honorary doctorate of laws.

In 1946, he was a first team All-American in lacrosse at Princeton, which gave him its outstanding athlete award for both lacrosse and football.

While later working as assistant to the dean at Princeton, he was head coach of the varsity lacrosse team and backfield coach for its football team.

In 1950, he joined the family firm, becoming vice president for administration in 1955 and executive vice president in 1969.

Mr. Ransome was an exceptional golfer, his daughter said. Twice he was South Jersey amateur champion.

At Riverton Country Club, he won the James S. Coale Tournament and twice was club champion. At Pine Valley, he was club champion once.

Twice in a row in the late 1960s, he won the Boyle Cup with Helen Sigel Wilson at the Philadelphia Country Club and twice in that decade he won the Griscom Cup at Riverton.

Mr. Ransome was president of the Golf Association of Philadelphia from 1965 to 1967, a member of its executive committee for 10 years, and director of the Philadelphia Golf Classic from 1968 to 1970.

At Pine Valley, he was president from 1977 to 1988 and chairman from 1988 through 2001.

"As much as he loved golf," his daughter said, he was proudest of "designing the short course at Pine Valley with Tom Fazio," the golf course architect. The 10-hole course, she said, was dedicated in May 1992.

Besides his daughter, Mr. Ransome is survived by wife Myradean, daughters Leslie Hudson and Jane Bromley, and several grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

A funeral service was set for 11 a.m. Thursday, May 9, at Christ Episcopal Church, Fourth and Main Streets, Riverton, with burial to be private.

Donations may be sent to the Ernest L. Ransome III Scholarship Trust, c/o Michael B. Kennedy, treasurer, Pine Valley Golf Club, 10 Baker Hill Rd., Pine Valley, N.J. 08021.

Condolences may be offered at Weber Funeral Home, 112 Broad St., Riverton.

Contact Walter F. Naedele at 610-313-8134, wnaedele@phillynews.com or follow on Twitter @WNaedele.