Ralph Pisanelli 1931 - 2019
Ralph Pisanelli - The man, the myth, the legend.

Ralph Pisanelli of Avon, Ohio, previously of Sheffield Lake, Ohio, passed  away peacefully on August 12th at the age of 87 in the caring  and compassionate community of Avon Oaks.   He was born in  Wadsworth, Ohio, on August 31, 1931, to Nicholas and Mary  Pisanelli, whom he adored. 

Ralph is survived by his wife of  61 years, Mary Lou (nee McEntee) who lovingly cared for him, esp. as he lived with Alzheimer's Disease, and  their 8 childrenf: Chris (Dawn), Mike (Lori), Patrick  (Christine), Mary Marin, Laura Dillon, Ann Csongei (Dave),  Amy Eldridge (Paul), and Jonathan (Rachael).   He is "Papa"  to 17 grandchildren, and 3 great-grandchildren.   He is also  survived by his brother, Julius (Pat);  brother-in-law Jerry  McEntee; sisters-in-law Betty Gairing and Sue Pisanelli; and many nieces and nephews. 

Ralph was  preceded in death by his parents;  4 of his 5 siblings: Katie Goda, Pat Ulichney, Rita Kaminski,  and Mario Pisanelli;  his brothers-in-law, Walter Gairing and Richard McEntee;  and his son-inlaw,  Richard Dillon.

Ralph was a member of the Wadsworth H.S. class of 1950 where he was a stand-out on the  football field (eventually being inducted into the Wadsworth Sports Hall of Fame).   He then  achieved great success playing for the University of Cincinnati (Class of '54) where he was a lso a member of the Delta Tau Delta fraternity.   After college he joined the Army and was
stationed in Fort Bliss, TX, where he earned the rank of 1st Lieutenant of the 168th Guided  Missile Battalion.

Moving to Lorain in 1958, Mr. Pisanelli became a revered teacher, coach, and mentor to  countless students at Clearview H.S. (1958-60) and Lorain Admiral King (1960-84).  His  impact on the students throughout the years has been measured by the many people who, upon  meeting one of his children or grandchildren, credit Mr. Pisanelli for changing their lives  forever.   As an Assistant Principal at Lorain Admiral King, he was respected as being firm but
always fair, helping many students find their path.

Never one to sit still, Ralph retired in 1984 for about 5 minutes, then went to work for Kopf  Construction as a finish carpenter, using the skills that he honed throughout years of summer  construction work.  A masterful craftsman and woodworker, he loved to share his gift with his  family and friends, creating furniture, helping with home improvements, and building entire  homes.  He had an unbelievable work ethic that he passed on to his children and grandchildren.   His hands were worn from years of work. When Ralph was helping you, he was always  teaching you.

Ralph was a member of the Lorain Senior Fellowship Club as well as the Lorain County  Woodcarvers Club, a hobby he began in his later years, but thoroughly enjoyed.   He loved  meeting new friends and truly loved the fellowship he found among these groups. 

Ralph was a  masterful storyteller and very often had a crowd of grandchildren at his feet as he sat and told  his tales. He is "grandpa" to several kids who are of no relation but are undoubtedly part of the  family. He welcomed everyone into his home and the more he liked you, the more he teased  you.

His happy place was 10 acres on the Mohican River.  Spending many years camping there since  the 1960's, and eventually building a cabin that became a family retreat.  He enjoyed weekends  at the cabin, planting and tending trees and gardens, telling stories around the campfire,  relaxing with a book, but above all else, spending time with family.  Time with family is what
he treasured above all else.

It's impossible to quantify a life well-lived. The measure of one's success is perhaps simply  determined by the impact he has on the lives of others.  Ralph was revered by everyone who  knew him. We need more Ralph Pisanelli's in this world.

Those whose lives he has touched are encouraged to call at the Busch Funeral Home, 163  Avon Belden Rd., Avon Lake, from 5-9 pm on Thursday, August 15th. Funeral on Friday,  August 16th beginning with prayers at the Funeral Home at 9:15am, followed by a Mass of  Christian burial at Holy Trinity Church, 33601 Detroit Rd., Avon. Interment at St. Joseph's  Cemetery in Avon.

440-933-3202 www.buschcares.com




   
    Ralph Pisanelli
   
 Wadsworth High School
   
 
Graduating Class of 1950

   

WHS Grizzly Football Team, Seniors, and Coaches,1949.  Above: Coaching Staff:  Rex McIlvaine, Dick Krauss, Art Wright, "Slick" Lyren, Russ Doan.  Seniors: Row 1: Bob Allen, Ronnie Bachman, Milo Billman, Tom Casey, Jim Clifford, Ed Fisher.  Row 2: Walt Gairing, Ronnie Hayth, Bill Held, Glenn Hosfeld, Kenny Koppes, Tom MacAdam.  Row 3:  Ralph Pisanelli, Ray Schwalbach, Lew Snyder, Dick Straiton, Bob Thompson, Jim Waltz.
  


Ralph Pisanelli was elected by his team mates for the honor receiving the Grizzly Memorial Trophy for the 1949 football season.  This trophy is awarded annually by the Wadsworth News Banner to the outstanding football player on the basis of team spirit, clean play, leadership, sound classroom work, and co-operation in following orders.


1949-50 Wadsworth Grizzly Basketball Team.  Front:  Bob Thompson, Jim Clifford, Jim Crumley, Roger Johnston, Derrill Snyder.  Back:  Ralph 
Pisanelli ,  Carrol Peters, Walter Gairing, Tom Casey, Glenn Hosfeld, Jim Eby.
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Steph Schmeltzer  (WHS 1997), Chair, Wadsworth High School Alumni Association. 524 Broad Street, Wadsworth, OH 44281.    Past obituaries, class information, and alumni news is available at www.wadsworthalumni.com.  Please contact us at whsalumni.1@gmail.com . To view WCTV television programs featuring Wadsworth High School and other Wadsworth news, go to http://my.viebit.com.   Please consider becoming a supporting member of the Alumni Association by sending a check addressed to "WHS ALUMNI ASSOC."  for $10 (annual dues) or $100 (lifetime dues) to Sally Porter, WHSAA Treasurer, 524 Broad Street, Wadsworth, OH 44281. Reduced Membership Rates for WHS Alumni Couples! $150 per couple for lifetime memberships; $25 per couple for yearly dues.
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Steph Schmeltzer  (WHS 1997), Chair, Wadsworth High School Alumni Association. 524 Broad Street, Wadsworth, OH 44281.    Past obituaries, class information, and alumni news is available at www.wadsworthalumni.com.  Please contact us at whsalumni.1@gmail.com . To view WCTV television programs featuring Wadsworth High School and other Wadsworth news, go to http://my.viebit.com.   Please consider becoming a supporting member of the Alumni Association by sending a check addressed to "WHS ALUMNI ASSOC."  for $10 (annual dues) or $100 (lifetime dues) to Sally Porter, WHSAA Treasurer, 524 Broad Street, Wadsworth, OH 44281. Reduced Membership Rates for WHS Alumni Couples! $150 per couple for lifetime memberships; $25 per couple for yearly dues.