Ralph "Captain" DeNendo passed away peacefully on Friday, December 7, 2012 in Hahnemann University Hospital. He was born in West Conshohocken and was a lifelong resident. He was the son of the late Ralph and Sara (Quinn) DeNendo. Ralph attended West Conshohocken High School until the 11th grade and then graduated from Conshohocken High School in 1948. He went into the US Army in February of 1952, was a member of the 45th Infantry Division and was sent to Korea in July 1952. In September 1952 he was wounded on Mortar Hill and Hospitalized in the 11th Evacuation Hospital for one month. He was sent back to active duty and spent 128 days on the right side of Sandbag Castle near the 38th Parallel and on Hill No. 465. He was honorably discharged in November of 1953 having received the Korean Service Medal W/2 Bronze stars, Combat Infantry Badge, United Nations Service Medal, Good conduct Medal and the Purple Heart. He was a member of the VFW of Conshohocken since his discharge. He was a machinist at the Budd Company for over 36 years but suffered with high blood pressure. In the early 1990s his doctor advised seeing a cardiologist. He was a workaholic and didn't want to make an appointment because the cardiologist didn't have evening hours. In 1993 he had an emergency triple bypass and was forced into retirement. In 1994 he was given a gift of life with a heart transplant at Temple University Hospital. He later transferred to Hahnemann University Hospital because some of his favorite doctors and nurses had also transferred from TUH. He received excellent and compassionate care throughout the years. He was on dialysis for three years until he received a kidney transplant in 2006. Many complications and operations followed the heart and kidney transplant, yet through all of this he continued to have a great sense of humor and enjoyed making people laugh. One of his many hobbies was selling at flea markets. He was more interested in meeting and talking with people than making money. People recognized him throughout PA and NJ and would greet him with, "Hi there Captain". Besides his loving wife Ethel (Lau), a widow, he is survived by two step-sons W. Clement and Daniel Smith. He loved them so much that he wanted people to believe they were his biological sons. He is also survived by two granddaughters, Lydia and Kelly Smith who he enjoyed frolicking with and playing Santa Claus each Christmas. He was a loving, caring father and grandfather and they loved and cherished him in return. He is also survived by his sister Dolores Frattone, widow of George, and nephews Kenneth and John (Lou) Frattone. His sister Theresa Ross preceded him in death. Her children are his nephew David and niece Doreen (Michael) Hindo. Relatives and friends are invited to his Funeral Service on Friday, December 14, 2012 at 10:30 AM at the Emil J. Ciavarelli Family Funeral Homes, 516 Fayette St., Conshohocken. Visitation will be from 8:30-10:30 AM. Interment will be in Calvary Cemetery. In lieu of flowers please make remembrances in his name to the Second Chance Heart Transplant Group, c/o Richard Harbourt, Hahnemann University Hospital, 230 N. Broad Street, Philadelphia, PA 19102. Condolences may be made at www.ciavarellifuneralhomes.com.
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Published in The Times Herald on Dec. 12, 2012