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Donald G. Ranieri


1928 - 2017 Obituary Condolences
Donald G. Ranieri Obituary
Donald George Ranieri of Franklin Massachusetts passed away peacefully at his home on Tuesday, June 20th, 2017, surrounded by his family. He was 89 years old. Donald was born on George Washingtons birthday, February 22nd, 1928, to Domenico and Madalene (Depoto) Ranieri. Donald was a loving husband, a devoted son, brother, nephew, and a wonderful father, grandfather, and uncle. He was a life-long parishioner at St. Marys Church in Franklin. Donald was married to Mary Elizabeth Betty Lyons of Franklin for over 65 happy years. He is survived by Betty and their six children: Donald G. Ranieri Jr. and his wife Suzanne, Joseph G. Ranieri, Catherine R. Miller and her husband Douglas, Maryellen R. Padula and her husband Anthony, Margaret Ranieri Hayden and her husband Rick, all of Franklin, and Elizabeth Ranieri Kuth and her husband Byron, of San Francisco, California. He was the former father-in-law of Jessica Miller and Pamela Ranieri. He is also survived by his grandchildren: Paetra Ranieri, Shala Ranieri, Margaret Anger, Grisha Taglienti, Nicholas Ranieri, Alexander Ranieri, Amanda Ranieri, Vanessa Knasas, Ariana Ranieri, Jillian Ranieri, Joseph J. Ranieri, William Miller, Bridget DeMonaco, Lauren Miller, Adam Miller, Nicholas Hayden, Erick Hayden, Kelli Hayden Bugbee, Addison Kuth, Frances Kuth, Grace Kuth, and twelve great-grandchildren. Donald is survived by his sister, Katherine Johnston of Port St. Lucie Florida and brother Domenic Ranieri of Jasper, Florida and was pre-deceased by brothers Warren and Anthony, and sister Tina Brunelli. He is also survived by his sister in-laws Barbara Lyons of Franklin and Joan Lyons of Milton. A child of the Great Depression and a self-sufficient immigrant family, he was a hard-worker from an early age and a shy, happy child. Surviving a near death case of appendicitis at age 7, Donalds remarkable will-to-live was a blessing throughout his life. Before and after school, he tended the family garden and peddled vegetables with his sister, Katherine. He knew all the shop owners on Main Street and began working at the B&B Diner when he was 8 years old. By middle school, he had keys to five beauty shops in town and acted as their janitor. He set pins by hand at the local bowling alley and shined shoes on the corner downtown on a cheese box. He looked forward to the horses arriving each year by rail to the feed & grain store on Cottage Street, just for the thrill of walking them to Paines Farm. By high school, he was doing mortuary work with Peter OBrien, Director of The Wiggin Funeral Home. His father encouraged him to comprare terra! (buy land) and he purchased his first property while still a minor. Donald graduated from Franklin High School in 1946 and Benjamin Franklin Institute of Technology in 1948. He was a master plumber, general contractor, real estate broker and developer. After graduating, he founded D. G. Ranieri Supply Company and D. G. Ranieri Real Estate. He operated his real estate business from his plumbing and hardware store which served as a destination for many friends and tenants, where deals were made, problems were solved and laughter often carried the day. For over half-a-century, he developed commercial and residential projects and could shape a concept into reality. Chance encounters often led to major deals and life-long friendships. Donald was a member of the Franklin Industrial Committee when Route 495 was under construction and industrial parks were being planned. He served on the Board of Directors of Foxboro Savings Bank; was a Rotary Club Paul Harris Fellow, and member of the Knights of Columbus, The Elks, and The Order of Redmen. One of his favorite responsibilities as a Rotarian was hosting the annual Christmas party, with Santa arriving by firetruck --or helicopter-- and a mix of musicians and costumed characters. Donald and Betty also owned and operated three local nursing homes for decades, extending their care and hospitality to many. He enjoyed his Harmony Farma full working farm with cattle, sheep, pigs, chickens and gardens, that he tended daily for over twenty years. Donald was an out-of-the-box thinker and an eternal optimist who encouraged everyone he met to go for it! He was a gifted cook, played the piano and accordion, and all he needed to start a party was his Italian music. Everyone was welcomed in his home and was met with kindness, a meal, a glass of wine and a good story. He will be lovingly remembered by his family, employees, tenants and the countless individuals he touched along the way. Donald George Ranieri was one-of-a-kind. His funeral mass will be celebrated on Tuesday, June 27 in St. Marys Church, Franklin at 10:30 a.m. Interment will be in the parish cemetery. Calling hours will be on Monday from 4-7 p.m. in the Ginley Funeral Home of Franklin(www.ginley funeralhomes.com) 131 Main Street, Franklin. In lieu of flowers, expressions of sympathy may be made in his memory to the Friends of the Franklin Library, PO Box 147, Franklin, MA 02038 or the St. Vincent DePaul Society c/o St. Marys Church, Church Square, Franklin, MA 02038.
Published in The Country Gazette from June 24 to July 7, 2017
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