AUSTINTOWN - Ralph P. Delserone, 70, passed away peacefully from an extended illness at 6:12 a.m. Tuesday, Jan. 1, 2013, at Hospice House of Poland with his family by his side.
Taken too soon, in his last days, every time he opened his eyes, he saw the face of someone who loved him.
He was born Sept. 2, 1942, in Youngstown, the eldest of three sons of Ralph Delserone Sr. and Alice Salinsky Delserone.
Ralph was a graduate of Girard High School's class of 1961. He then attended Youngstown State University for two years, where he majored in chemistry.
He joined the Army, and soon after joining, his unit was decommissioned, so he joined the Air Force, stationed with the 910th Airlift Wing in Vienna, where he served as a cook for four years.
In 1966, he was one of the first waves of people to be hired at General Motors Lordstown Plant. He was about to be promoted to a supervisory position but decided to strike out on his own as an entrepreneur, pursuing the beginnings of Raphael Beauty Salons, Raphael Beauty Schools in Niles and Raphael Beauty Supply Chain of stores, which he owned successfully for 40 years.
He was widely known in the beauty industry, and was a good boss who had many employees who stayed with him for 10, 15 and 20 years.
He was a generous man who shared his successes in many ways with employees, friends and family over the years.
He was an excellent cook and regularly invited eager people to dinners and gatherings for good meals and fun.
In the 1970s, he helped his brother, John, coach a championship team at Brookfield High School for a short period of time.
He will leave a large, empty space as his Italian heritage led him to be a larger-than-life personality, boisterous and loving with a soft heart. His love for cats was only topped by his love and devotion for his children and grandchildren, his favorite line every few days being, "Let's go see the kids."
Everyone knew him by his trademark cigar, his sly jokes and pranks and the twinkle always in his eye.
He leaves to forever miss him his wife of 29 years, Rosemary Tabor Delserone; his two children, Ralph (Lori Harklerode) Delserone and Jacquelyn (Rick) Johngrass; stepdaughter, Michelle Johnson; grandchildren, Taylor, Emma, Sam and Sarah Johngrass, Cole and Sofia Durina and Bella Delserone; a sister, Susann (David) Snyder; nephews, David (Maura) Snyder and Phillip and Jeff Snyder; great-nephew, Davy Snyder; sister-in-law, Andrea (Delserone) Lane; and nephew, Johnny Delserone.
Ralph was preceded in death by his brother, John Delserone, and his parents.
Family and friends will be received from 5 to 7 p.m. Friday at Lane Family Funeral Homes, Austintown Chapel, and again from 9 to 10 a.m. Saturday at St. Joseph's Church in Austintown. Services will be held 10 a.m. Saturday at the church.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions can be made to Hospice House of Poland.
Arrangements are entrusted to Lane Family Funeral Homes, Austintown Chapel.
Family and friends can send condolences at www.lanefuneralhomes.com.