Ralph Piatek

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  • "On behalf of the United States Submarine Veterans (USSVI),..."
    - Bill Dixon
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Ralph Stanley Piatek

August 12, 1923 -

March 11, 2018

Ralph was preceded in death by his wife, Iona. He is survived by sons, Stephen and his partner Jodie, Geoffrey and his wife Marissa; daughter, Irene; daughter, Catherine and her partner Bobby and son, Brian and his wife Tracy. His is survived by grandchildren, Loretta, Tonya, Anna, Rebecca, Rachel, Marina and Melanie; and great-grandchildren Jacob, Kaylee, Leanna, Angela, Mathew, Aiden, Jordan, Brian, Holly, Hailee and Jayden.

He was a retired Navy veteran (1939-1969), serving with the Atlantic Fleet on board the USS Augusta where he met President Franklin D. Roosevelt, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill and General George S. Patton. He volunteered for submarine duty serving with the Pacific Fleet on board the USS Atule, USS Toro, USS Pickerel, USS Saury, USS Picuda, USS. Guitaro, USS Sabalo, and the USS Blackfin. He retired as a Chief Petty Officer in 1960 and transferred to the Fleet Reserve Association. He was called up twice during the Vietnam Conflict with a final discharge from the Navy in 1969 with 30 years of service.

Ralph worked for the Defense Contracting Agency from 1960 in Milwaukee, WI until his retirement in 1978. He and Iona moved from Menomonee Falls, WI where they had lived for almost 20 years, to New Mexico after retiring. He was active after retirement starting VFW Posts 5890 and 2726, serving as Post Commander of both Posts. He was a lifetime member of the VFW, Fleet Reserve and DAV. He worked as the State of New Mexico VFW Department Service Officer assisting veterans and their families obtain benefits from the VA. He saw a need at local cemeteries and at the Santa Fe National Cemetery where veterans were being interred without military honors. With 15 of his close friends he started the New Mexico Honor Guard, and over the next 15 years they performed burial honors for over 3,000 veterans. He also started the Military Speakers Bureau where he donated hundreds of hours and donated books and materials to the local Rio Rancho schools, giving lectures on World War II, Korea and Vietnam. At the time of his death he was working on information on the USS Maine and USS Olympia.

A memorial service will be held on Saturday, April 28, 2018, at Our Lady Queen of Angels Liberal Catholic Church, 1701 Tulip Road SE, Rio Rancho, NM 87124 at 10:00 am, with a reception to follow in the Church Hall. He will be interred at a later date in Arlington National Cemetery.

Thank you to Brookdale Home Health, Comfort Keepers and Hospice of New Mexico who assisted in making his last days comfortable and peaceful.

Religious Service Information
Our Lady Queen of Angels
1701 Tulip Rd. SE
Rio Rancho, NM 87124
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Published in Albuquerque Journal on Apr. 1, 2018
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