Mr. Ralph Crusco, age 83, of Newark, DE, died on January 3, 2013, with all of his loved ones by his side at Seasons Hospice after a five-year battle with cancer.
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Born in Claymont on February 5, 1929, Ralph was the youngest of six children born to the late Giovanni and Philamena Crusco. He grew up in Wilmington and graduated from Wilmington High School, where he was elected president of his senior class in 1948.
As a teenager and young man, Ralph's passions were cartoon illustration and baseball. While still in high school, young Ralph was selected to be the program creator and illustrator of the 14th Annual Delaware Festival of the Arts. Just like his all-time favorite Joe DiMaggio, he enjoyed playing center field. Ralph truly loved baseball and could rattle off facts and stats of all the greats and current players. Loyal to the New York Yankees all of his life, but dedicated to the sport, he also loved to watch the Phillies.
Ralph worked at the former Electric Hose and Rubber Company for many years, and later at the New Castle County building until his retirement in 1995. He enjoyed days spent with his brother Joe at Delaware Park, where he could reunite with some of his neighborhood buddies and "spend an afternoon with the ponies."
Ralph was a gentle, unpretentious, and physically strong man. Often identified as an icon and frequent patron of Govato's on Market Street in earlier years, he made it his first stop in the morning for breakfast and a chance to spend time with his city friends.
Ralph is survived by his brother, Joseph Crusco (Bernice) and many nieces and nephews. He was predeceased by siblings, Dominic, Mary, Edith, and Frank. In 1972, Ralph met the love of his life and constant companion of over 40 years, Jacqueline C. Durham. Since that time, he loved and cared for his daughters, Lynda Daring (Brian), Donna Cushing (Francis), and Karen Dionisi (Michael); and his grandchildren, Nicholas Dionisi, Matthew Cushing, Kenny Daring, Sarah Cushing, and Mia Dionisi. The love shared between Ralph and his family was insurmountable--he was our protector, our "Pop Pop," and our biggest fan. Jackie, Lynda, Donna, and Karen meant the world to him and they cherished his unconditional love. Never a negative word or tone or opposing remark was heard from Ralph. He was a true gentleman and respected by everyone who knew him. He will be sorely missed by all of us who loved him so very much.
The funeral service will be held privately.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests contributions to favorite charity in honor of Ralph.
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Published in The News Journal from Jan. 6 to Jan. 7, 2013