Cover photo for Ralph A. Viola's Obituary
Ralph A. Viola Profile Photo
1947 Ralph 2024

Ralph A. Viola

July 14, 1947 — May 17, 2024

Rensselaer - Ralph “Ralphie” A. Viola, aged 76, passed away peacefully on Friday, May 17, 2024, surrounded by his beloved family. Ralph was born in Brooklyn but raised on Long Island, the cherished son of the late Raphael and Marie (Mazza) Viola.

A dedicated worker, Ralph commuted tirelessly to Manhattan for his career in typesetting and photo engraving for many years. In addition to his professional pursuits, he undertook part-time roles, including repairing pool pumps and working at Home Depot post-retirement. A skilled self-made handyman, he delighted in researching home repairs and enhancements while avidly following the show "This Old House."

Ralph was a loving father and grandfather who imparted essential life skills, teaching us to tie our shoelaces and embrace imperfections in our singing. He found solace in early morning drives to Jones Beach, where he savored reading the paper and tackling word jumbles and crosswords. His diverse music collection, spanning from Louis Prima to Beethoven, Pink Floyd, Neil Young, and Tom Petty, reflected his eclectic tastes. The pulsating rhythm of "Tainted Love" by Soft Cell never failed to uplift Ralph's spirits, while the thunderous cannons in Tchaikovsky's 1812 Overture stirred deep emotions within him, evoking a response that he could only describe as "It's just something about the cannons, I can't quite put into words." 

During summers, Ralph reveled in sunbathing and clam digging with his family along the Long Island Sound. His passion for gardening was evident as he meticulously tended to his tomatoes, revealing his secret of incorporating handpicked seaweed from the shore into the soil year after year. The scent of freshly cut grass held a special place in his heart, and despite his failing eyesight, he eagerly volunteered to ride the mower at his daughter Kerri and Paul's residence and their farmhouse in Middleburgh, New York, cherishing the farm's memories and scenic vistas.

Often mistaken for Jerry Garcia, Ralph's resemblance to the iconic musician was uncanny. His resilience and unwavering dedication to his family knew no bounds. Ralph was gentle in expressions of love but his love shone through in the actions he took and the invaluable lessons he imparted to us.

Ralph's love for model trains transcended mere hobby status; it was an artistic pursuit. Countless hours were devoted to painting figurines and crafting intricate landscapes. Early in life, he’d often bring his daughters to partake in his love of trains at various model railroad shows. 

 Ralph valiantly faced his battle with leukemia and lung cancer over the course of many years. Despite enduring numerous hospital stays, he never relinquished his sense of humor. Throughout his journey, he frequently sported one of the numerous sarcastic T-shirts lovingly given to him by his daughters. With a radiant smile and a laughter that could light up a room, Ralph's presence was as infectious as his spirit.

 Ralph is survived and will be missed by his brother Steven Viola. Ralph was a loyal father to his three daughters, Kerri Bagley (Paul) and their son Brian Bagley, Jessica Viola-Wyllins (Frank) and their daughter Daniella Wyllins, and Patricia Viola. 

Ralph is predeceased by (wife) Maureen Viola, (Father) Raphael Viola, (Mother) Marie Viola, and (Brother) Joseph Viola. 

Relatives and friends are invited and may call on Saturday, June 22, 2024, from 12-1 pm at the W.J. Lyon, Jr., Funeral Home, 1700 Washington Avenue, Rensselaer. A funeral home service will follow at 1 pm. 

 

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Service Schedule

Past Services

Visitation

Saturday, June 22, 2024

12:00 - 1:00 pm (Eastern time)

W.J. Lyons Jr. Funeral Home, Inc.

1700 Washington Ave, Rensselaer, NY 12144

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Visitation

Saturday, June 22, 2024

1:00 - 1:30 pm (Eastern time)

W.J. Lyons Jr. Funeral Home, Inc.

1700 Washington Ave, Rensselaer, NY 12144

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

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