Ralph Michael Della Ratta of Williamsburg departed from this life on July 24, 2012. He was born May 7, 1923, and was from Glen Head, N.Y. He was predeceased by his parents, Dominick and Angelina Della Ratta; his brother, Anthony Della Ratta; and his son-in-law, James Scherling. Ralph is survived by his devoted wife of 64 years, Mary; his daughters, Susan Scherling and her friend, Neil Sheils; Carol Canova (Gene); his son, Ralph Della Ratta Jr. (Rosalie); and his five grandchildren: Renee and Patrick Della Ratta, Jennifer Scherling Dinatali (Jeffrey); and Chase and Clarke Canova. Other loved ones who mourn his loss are his cousins: Ann Gress, Connie Lopez (Edward), and Elsie Calderone; sisters-in-law, Kathleen Otterstedt and Anna Maloney; brothers-in-law, Michael (Carole DiSalvo) and James Maloney (Marney); as well as numerous nieces and nephews.
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Ralph served in the Navy during World War II in the South Pacific Theater. Upon returning, he gave 39 years of loyal service to the New York Telephone Company. After his retirement in 1985, he moved to Virginia. Ralph was an antique clock collector and a member of the National Association of Watch and Clock Collectors. In his retirement, he became an avid golfer, experiencing the pleasure of two holes-in-one within the same year. He was a member of the Kingsmill Golf Club and Sports Club, and proud member-emeritus of the Crown Colony Club of Virginia. Ralph enjoyed daily walks in CW and watching his grandson Chase march with the Fifes and Drums Corps. Ralph and his wife also enjoyed traveling in the U.S. and abroad. Recently, he was given two honors through his son: having a room named for him in the neonatal unit of University Hospital, Cleveland, Ohio, and for him and his wife, the naming of the reception room of the Cleveland City Club, the oldest speakers' forum in America.
A Funeral Mass will be offered at 10 a.m. on Saturday, July 28, in St. Bede Catholic Church, 3686 Ironbound Rd., with interment immediately following in Cedar Grove Cemetery on South Henry Street. In lieu of flowers, please consider a contribution to: University Hospital's Rainbow Babies and Children's Hospital, Institutional Relations and Development, P.O. Box 74947, Cleveland OH 44194-4947, gifts to be directed to the Angie Fowler Institute; or The Smile Train, P.O. Box 96231, Washington DC 20090-6231. Nelsen Funeral Home is in charge of the arrangements.
Online condolences may be made at www.vagazette.com.
A beautiful life has come to an end; he died, as he lived, everyone's friend.
Published in Virginia Gazette from July 30 to Aug. 29, 2012