SOUTH HADLEY – Ralph G. Blank, 89, died peacefully on Monday, Dec. 24, 2012.
The Guest Book is expired.
Born Rolf Georg Albert Blank in Stargard in Pommern, Germany, at the age of two he immigrated with his parents to the United States through Ellis Island. The immigration officer changed his name from Rolf to Ralph and his family started their life in Brooklyn, N.Y.
Ralph was a World War II Army Air Corp veteran and a graduate of Syracuse University in the College of Fine Arts in Industrial Design. He met the love of his life, Barbara Allen, in college and they were happily married for 62 years.
Following college, Ralph went to work for General Motors and later worked in management in various paper and plastic companies. His last position was with Russell Engineering.
For 20 years, Ralph served the South Hadley community as an elected member of the town Planning Board and was known for his thoughtful contribution to the Conservation Commission.
He was an active member of the First Congregational Church of South Hadley, where he held various leadership positions on the board of trustees, deacons and finance committees. Ralph was also actively involved in assisting special needs individuals by serving in various board capacities for the Association for Community Living.
In 1961 his family moved from Lowville, N.Y. to settle in South Hadley. One of his favorite pastimes was skiing. He taught his children to ski at a very young age and volunteered as a ski patrolman at Mt. Tom Ski Area. Puttering around his home was a passion. He was an accomplished dry stone wall mason, home arborist and creator of doll houses for his grandchildren. He was known as a dependable and tender husband, father and grandfather.
He is survived by his wife, Barbara Blank; three children, Dean and his wife Susan from Greenwich, Conn., Lynn and her husband Ivan from Linconville, Maine and David from South Hadley; and four grandchildren, Christie, Dimitri, Liz and Lucia.
The memorial service will be held on Saturday, Dec. 29, at 2 p.m. at the First Congregational Church, One Church St., South Hadley. In place of formal calling hours, friends are invited to join the family for a reception following the memorial service at the church.
For details visit www.ryderfuneralhome.com.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be given to the First Congregational Church, One Church St., South Hadley, MA 01075 or The Association for Community Living, 220 Brookdale Dr., Springfield, MA 01104.
To sign a Guest Book, express condolences, share memories and read other obituaries, go to www.gazettenet.com/obituaries.
Curran-O'Brien Funeral Home
33 Lamb Street
South Hadley, MA 01075
Published in Daily Hampshire Gazette on Dec. 27, 2012