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Ralph Gionet


1926 - 2016 Obituary Condolences Gallery
Ralph Gionet Obituary
Ralph J. Gionet

1926-2016 PITTSFIELD, MA Ralph J. Gionet, 89, died peacefully, March 8, surrounded by family at the home of his sister in Arlington, Virginia. He was born October 6, 1926 in Shirley, MA to Charles Gionet and Louise Doiron Gionet. He attended school in Shirley and played on the town baseball team. He earned a Bachelor's degree from Fitchburg State and later a Master's degree from the University of Massachusetts, both in education. Ralph met Elizabeth Ann Gleason of Lowell during an evening at The Commodore Ballroom in Lowell in 1951. He requested a dance as the band played a favorite and later related, "We danced together that number, the next number and the following number and the rest of the night... and I never danced with anybody else." They married in 1954 and moved to Pittsfield where they both had long careers in Pittsfield Public Schools. Ralph began at North Junior High (now Reid Middle School) teaching industrial arts. Later he would become a high school guidance counselor. He moved to Taconic High School as a counselor in the Vocational Department after the school's construction, then back to Pittsfield High School several years later to be administrator of the Occupational Education Department until retirement. He was instrumental in starting organized soccer in Berkshire County and coached at Pittsfield High School, before coaching Taconic High from its early days through much of the 1970s, winning a Berkshire County championship. He refereed soccer well into his fifties. Ralph was also a coach of hockey teams in the Boys' Club leagues where his sons played. Ralph and Elizabeth purchased a home on lower Appleton Avenue in 1960 and were longtime communicants of St. Theresa's R.C. Church, where he served communion. They moved to Willow Lane in the late 1980s. Ralph and Elizabeth were longtime members of Wahconah Country Club and avid golfers. Ralph was a regular poll worker during elections and he served countless charities including a position on the board of Goodwill Industries. He both volunteered and worked at Tanglewood, where he and Elizabeth were a regular feature on the lawn with their many friends and Elizabeth was popularly known as, "The Flower Lady." After 57 years of beautiful marriage, Ralph was predeceased by Elizabeth in 2012 and son David of Fort Wayne, IN in 2008. He is survived by his sons, Mark and wife Patricia Tyson of Alexandria, VA, Bruce and wife Barbara Finkelstein of Fort Lee, NJ, Alan and wife Kim DeVigil of Evergreen, CO and Gary, a resident of West House in Pittsfield. In addition, he leaves daughter-in-law JoEllen of Bloomington, IN, his sister, Claudette (Bunnie) Lester of Arlington, VA and his brother Vincent, of Marlborough, MA as well as grandchildren, Alex, Anna, Gabrielle, Genevieve, Camille and Clarisse. FUNERAL NOTICE: A Liturgy of Christian Burial for Ralph J. Gionet will be celebrated on Saturday, March 19, 2015 at 10:00 A.M. at St. Ann's Church 134 Main St., Lenox, MA 01240, with Msgr. John J. Bonzagni pastor, officiating. A reception with lunch will follow at the Wahconah Country Club, Dalton, MA. Calling hours will be on Friday from 5:00 until 7:00 P.M. at the Dwyer Funeral Home, 776 North St., Pittsfield, MA 01201. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Berkshire County ARC in memory of Ralph Gionet in care of the funeral home. Please visit: www.dwyerfuneral.com to leave condolences and remembrances.
Published in The Berkshire Eagle on Mar. 16, 2016
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