Monday, April 19, 2021

Ralph Lamenzo

I write my blogs many weeks before they are posted. Which explains why until now I haven't mentioned that Gerry's Dad Ralph was very ill. He died on March 27 after two weeks of at-home hospice care. This is the obit I wrote for him.

Ralph William Lamenzo, Jr.

November 5, 1932 – March 27, 2021



Ralph William Lamenzo, Jr. died on Saturday, March 27, 2021 peacefully and surrounded by his family.


Born in Norwich, Connecticut to Ralph W. Lamenzo, Sr. and Mable Coombs Lamenzo, the family moved to Reisterstown, Maryland in the 1940s. 


In 8th grade Ralph met the love of his life, Beverly Caltrider. At the time Ralph had another girlfriend, but Bev soon won his heart forever. They would have celebrated 70 years of marriage on December 31 of this year.


Immediately upon graduation from Franklin High School in Reisterstown, Maryland, Ralph enlisted in the Navy, where he was stationed in Chincoteague, Virginia for four years.


After an honorable discharge from the Navy, Ralph tried his hand at a variety of careers, from managing his father-in-law’s gas station to selling insurance. 


In 1963, the family moved to Newark, Delaware, and Ralph began working for Spitz Space Systems. While employed by Spitz, Ralph oversaw the installation of planetariums across the United States and as far away as Norway and Israel. He enjoyed the travel, but not being away from home for months at a time.


An active member of White Clay Creek Presbyterian Church, Newark, he was also the volunteer manager for the Church’s cemetery for several decades (Ralph literally knew where all the skeletons were buried!).


Always an animal lover, Ralph raised rabbits as a child, and for over 40 years he and Bev kept a Yellow Naped Amazon parrot that Ralph’s father had brought them as gift from Ecuador. Over the last decade Bev and Ralph began rescuing greyhounds off the track, and their last dog, their beloved Gypsy, died just this past January. 


In retirement, Ralph and Bev became members of the “Retreads” and loved riding their massive Honda Goldwing motorcycle on road trips throughout the United States.  


Ralph was a consummate craftsmen, and always had a project in the works. The Lamenzo home is filled with his large needlepoints, scale models of boats, and an entire bedroom is devoted to his masterpiece- a dollhouse so massive he had to build it so it could be split in half in order to carry it through a doorway. Each and every room is completely and beautifully decorated. Ralph even built a television set, which his son remembers being in constant use for many, many years.  


Being a member of the Solomon Lodge, No. 36 of Delaware was a huge part of Ralph’s life and he was especially proud of having been having been a past master of the Lodge  (1976.)


Ralph was predeceased by his son Kenny Lamenzo, his son-in-law Donald Snapp, and his two sisters, Ruth Reighard and Irene Schnaars. 


Ralph is survived by his wife, Beverly C. Lamenzo; his daughter Debbie Snapp; and his son Gerry Lamenzo (Mary Jane); two grandchildren, Jessica Kaufmann and Jeremy Snapp (Risa); and two great-grandchildren, Holden Kaufmann and Daven Kaufmann.


Ralph will be honored in a private, graveside funeral service. In lieu of flowers the family requests that donations be made to White Clay Creek Presbyterian Church, 15 Polly Drummond Hill Rd, Newark, DE 19711.








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