Valle, Rafael "Ralph"
RAFAEL "RALPH" VALLE, 84, was mercifully released from the bonds of earth on September 6th, 2017, after a long illness. He was born in Cuba on July 22nd, 1933 to Rafael and Manuela Valle. He married his wife Vivian in 1959 and, as part of the Cuban diaspora, came to the United States with his wife Vivian and mother-in-law Herminia, who loved him as a son. In 1971 they became proud U.S. citizens. In 1969 he was transferred by Revlon Inc. to Phoenix, Arizona, where he acquired many friends throughout the years. He was preceded by his parents, mother-in-law and brother-in-law José Ygnacio Bermúdez. He is survived by his wife Vivian, sister-in-law Geny Bermúdez, niece Melanie, her husband Sam Pillsbury and their son Luc. He is also survived by his extended family and many friends in Florida. A survivor of prostate cancer, he took early retirement in 1994, and devoted many years as volunteer and facilitator for support groups in the Valley, helping others with the experience and knowledge accumulated about this scourge. Our gratitude goes to the many friends whose warm support made his last weeks more bearable. The Villalobos family deserve a special mention for the extraordinary help they gave Ralph and Vivian during these very difficult months. The medical personnel, i.e. doctors, nurses, of Banner Thunderbird deserve our sincere appreciation for their professionalism and kindness during Ralph's hospital stays. As per his wishes, Ralph was cremated and has returned to be with his wife and "kitties." Should you wish to honor his memory, please consider a donation to any of the animal rescue, spay/neuter organizations in the Valley (Arizona Humane Society, A.D.L.A., etc.) where so many cats and dogs are waiting to be adopted. Funeral arrangements were handled by Phoenix Memorial Park and Mortuary. "The essence of a man does not vanish with his mortal remains, but survives in the memory of those who knew and loved him."
Published in The Arizona Republic on Oct. 8, 2017.