Ralph J. Wolfe East Hampton, NY -- Ralph J. Wolfe, 82, of East Hampton died peacefully November 27 of complications following knee replacement surgery. Born in Holyoke, MA, he was a highly decorated World War II Navy veteran, awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross for bravery and a Purple Heart while serving with a B24 Squadron in the South Pacific. Mr. Wolfe was a ten-year member of the East End Hospice Board of Directors, also serving as a patient volunteer. He was a former President of the Board of Trustees of the First Presbyterian Church of East Hampton. He was a member and former President of The East Hampton Rotary Club. Immediately following his retirement from The Panasonic Company, he volunteered as the Executive Director of The Retreat (for nine months), the East Hampton shelter for victims of domestic violence. He earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics and Business Administration at Tufts University and three days after graduation began a 20-year sales career with General Electric, achieving the position of National Accounts Manager for the Electronics Sales Operation. He joined the Panasonic Company in 1969, rising to Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing and became Chairman of the Panasonic Management Committee in 1987. A member of the Board of Directors of Matsushita Electric Corporation of America from 1986 to 1991 he also had responsibility for Panasonic's External Affairs Division. Prior to his retirement in 1992 he was the senior American in the Japanese company. In retirement he earned several securities licenses and a real estate license, partnering with his wife Sherry Wolfe at the Corcoran Agency in East Hampton. He loved to golf, travel and enjoy a good glass of wine in the company of friends, family and his beloved King Charles Cavalier spaniels. He had a twin-engine pilot's license with an instrument rating and at one time was an owner of the East Hampton Flight School. His ever present smile and kind heart will be greatly missed by his wife Sherry, his sister, Mary Muratore of Belchertown, MA, his children, Muriel Brown and her husband William Brown of Stratford, CT, Cynthia Wolfe of Acton, MA, Thomas Wolfe and his wife Linda Wolfe of Branford, CT, and 4 grandchildren. He was predeceased by his sister June and his brothers John and Christopher. A memorial service will be held December 3, 11 am, at The First Presbyterian Church of East Hampton, NY. In lieu of flowers the family requests that donations be made to East End Hospice, PO Box 1048 Westhampton Beach, NY 11978.
Published in The Republican on Dec. 2, 2007.