Ralph was born Dentecane, Avellino, a small village in Italy. His parents met there and married; eighteen months later, he and his mother arrived in Mt Vernon NY where a number of his relatives had settled. Ralph attended the Mt Vernon schools and then went to NYU at Washington Square in NYC. After the first 2 semesters he was asked to join the USMC and spent 2 years mainly in Korea at the DMZ. Afterwards he returned home and became director of the Boys Club in Mt Vernon. Ralph resumed his studies at NYU the next fall semester and completed a bachelor’s degree in biology. He was persuaded to do the M.S. and finally completed his PhD in cell physiology.
At CCNY Ralph taught for over 44 years and became deputy chairman and advisor to the students. His previous experiences with youngsters and war-torn civilians aided his ability to assist people of different ages and ethnicities. He could encourage them to discover their talents and develop them toward successful carreers. Ralph also thoroughly enjoyed doing the research projects and continued at CCNY with some physicists.
Betty met Ralph in 1960 because of interest in microsurgery of single cells and subsequent cellular physiology. They were pioneers in the field of laser and microsurgical techniques. When Dr. M.J. Kopac, their former mentor, retired, Ralph taught his course at NYU until the Robert Chambers Laboratory moved to CCNY. Students from CCNY and neighboring colleges were able to experience this special technique and add in their theses and job opportunities. Ralph stopped teaching cell and molecular biology in 2009 upon retirement from the college. However, he continued research with some of the physicists until the pandemic affected the college community. Nevertheless, he continued some research in the basement of his parent’s home. Ralph was a great teacher, a researcher who “thought out of the box,” a great friend and wonderful husband. Many who knew him will sorely miss his goodness and sense of humor. He is survived by his wife, Betty and nephews Spencer and Jeffrey and his family, two brother in laws and many nieces, nephews and great nieces and great nephews. His parents brother and wife predeceased him. We thank you all for your presence and also for watching the service via the zoom. You are wished a long life of health and happiness. God bless you all.