WALLINGFORD - Ralph Donald Habersang, Ret. Wallingford Fire Chief, passed away quietly early in the morning of Tuesday, Aug. 26, 2014. A lifelong resident of Wallingford, he was 87 years old.
Ralph was born in New Haven on Oct. 23, 1926, to the late Ralph F. and Mary A. (Gillooly) Habersang. For 59 years he was married to Susan M. (Roy) Habersang who passed away in 2010. Ralph attended Holy Trinity School and was a graduate of Lyman Hall High School. He served in the U.S. Navy in the Pacific Theater during World War II. Upon his return home after the war, he worked as a carpenter with Pete Fresina and Tommy Williams. Later, he worked as a carpenter for many years with Sam Piazza. In 1948, he joined the Wallingford Fire Department, first as a callman, and later as a fulltime fireman. During his years of service he moved up within the ranks of the fire department and was appointed Fire Chief in 1971, by then-Mayor Joseph Carini. He retired from the fire department in 1976, and resumed his carpentry work, running the Habersang Construction Company for many years. Ralph enjoyed his garden, working on projects around the house and especially his basement workshop where he built many fine pieces of furniture for friends and family during his retirement years. He enjoyed fishing, especially the time spent vacationing on Lake Champlain in upstate Vermont. Saturday morning "coffee breaks" with his family was a 30 year tradition. At these weekly gatherings he and his family would solve the world's problems and discuss the fate of the New York Yankees and the Boston Red Sox. His love of baseball went back to his uncles who had played on semi-pro teams in Wallingford. His favorite player was Babe Ruth but his heart belonged to the Brooklyn Dodgers.
Ralph is survived by his five children, Mark (Cheri) Habersang, of Chester, MaryEllen (Bruce) Connell, of Forked River, N.J., Joan (Arthur) Allen, of Wallingford, the Rev. Paul Habersang, of Montpelier, Vt., and Anne (James) Zagryn, of Middletown. Additionally, he is survived by nine grandchildren, Patrick, Dennis and Eric Habersang, Daniel and USCG Lt. Kevin Connell, Sarah and Chris Allen, and John and David Habersang. He also has three great-grandchildren, Tia, Eleanor and Hannah. He leaves his sister-in-law, Lorraine Roy; several cousins;, nephews and nieces; and many good friends and exceptional neighbors. He was predeceased by his sister, Ellen Cullen. He was a communicant of the Church of the Resurrection.
The family would like to thank Dr. Harriet Kluger, Matt Burke and the medical staff at the Smilow Cancer Hospital in New Haven who supported and encouraged Ralph during the past several years. Their constant attention and care was a huge support for Ralph and his family. The family is also grateful to their brother Mark, Marnee Fritz RN and the entire Masonicare hospice team who provided compassionate care for Ralph in his final days.
Memorial donations may be made in memory of Ralph to the Church of the Resurrection, 115 Pond Hill Road, Wallingford, CT 06492 or to the "Closer to Free Fund", Smilow Cancer Hospital at Yale-New Haven, P.O. Box 7611, New Haven, CT 06519-0611. His family will receive relatives and friends in The Wallingford Funeral Home, 809 N. Main St Ext., Wallingford, on Saturday, Sept. 6, from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. A funeral service will follow in the funeral home at 12 p.m. Interment in St. John Cemetery will be private.
Wallingford Funeral Home
809 North Main Street Ext. Wallingford, CT 06492
Published in The Record-Journal on Aug. 28, 2014