Jenkins Funeral Chapel

2914 Dover Center Road
Westlake, Ohio 44145
(440) 871-0711
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Ralph J. Palazzo

Ralph J. Palazzo

September 11, 1936 ‐ August 31, 2018

Birthplace:
Lorain, Ohio
Resided In:
Westlake, Ohio
 

Ralph Jerome Palazzo

September 11, 1936 – August 31, 2018

Loyalty, Generosity, Integrity, Humor

 

 

Ralph Palazzo passed away peacefully on Friday, August 31 at home with his wife and daughter by his side, just the way he wanted it.  He was 81 years old. Ralph lived a long, full life of deep love of family, honest hard work, sincere generosity, pride in accomplishment and light-hearted quips. Ralph was born on September 11, 1936 in Lorain, Ohio.  He was first-generation Italian American, the second of three sons of Pasquale “Patsy” Palazzo, born in Rogliano, Calabria, Italy and Matilda “Mitzi” Palazzo, nee Rizzuto. Ralph grew up on East 36th Street in South Lorain, the blue-collarside of steel town. Patsy’s sister and family lived next door and his other sister lived two houses down. That’s the kind of place it was. Patsy was a crane man at National Tube Company’srailyard, and Mitzi a housewife and gifted cook.  Money was tight butdinner was delicious. Ralph spoke only Italian until he started public school.After Ralph graduated from Lorain High School in 1954, he did what everyone expected and got a job as a laborer for U. S. Steel pounding the sides of coal cars with a sledgehammer to loosen the coal. In 1958, Ralph met Dorothy Mae DeWald on a blind date, proposing to her that first night.  Six months later, they eloped on September 6, 1958. Almost immediately, Ralph was drafted into Army active duty for a two-year stint in France and Germany, and Dottie became pregnant with theirfirst and only child Robin. In the Army, Ralph worked in an office for the first time. He came home motivated to go to school and change his life. Beginning in 1961 for the next 12 years, Ralph worked full-time jobs by day, and used the G.I. Bill to attend college part-time at night. First, he earned an Associates Degree in drafting from Fenn College while working on the Ford Motor and Fruehauf Trailer production lines. Drafting degree in hand, Ralphjoined Union Carbide as a draftsman, continuing night classes until June 1973, when he graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Engineering from Cleveland State University.Ralph was immediately promoted to engineer by Union Carbide, and placed on an R&D team exploring fuel cells for cars as an alternative to combustion engines, diaper manufacturingand more. When the battery division was spun off into the Eveready Battery Company, Ralph went with it, designing equipment to build batteries, new prototype batteries, and lithium and hearing aid batteries until he retired in October, 2001.  You did not want to be found with a device or toy containing a Duracell battery, no sir. Ralph enjoyed his work and colleagues at Eveready, and traveled extensively to get new plants up and running including scores of trips to Vermont, North Carolina, and 15 trips in one year to Bologna, Italy. Ralph and Dottie lived in Fairview Park, Rocky River and Westlake, OH, enjoying many fun times.  Ralph loved Las Vegas; visits to London; wonderful new friends made with every move; entertaining at home (cook-out breakfast!); and playing with his much-loved granddaughters (Ralph loved kids).  Spending time with family and friends was everything to Ralph.Ralph experienced a variety of health challenges in hislast ten years, and he faced each with stubborn resolve and a stunning commitment to humor. He isno doubt quippingabout Denise and Denephew in heaven right now. Ralph will be deeply missed by his wife Dorothy of Westlake, OH; daughter Robin and son-in-law Jim Whitney of Park City, UT; and his adored granddaughters Grace Whitney of Seattle, WA and ClaireWhitney of Boston, MA. Ralph is also survived by his brother Cy (Jeanne) Palazzo of Amherst, OH; sisters-in-law DeeDeeTocarchick of Lakewood, OH and Phyllis Wells of Augusta, ME;  Ralph’s wife’s son Mark (Diane) Albrecht of Aurora, CO and his children Austin, Reece, Tara and Zoe Albrecht, all of Colorado; nephew John (Cynthia) Palazzo of Medina, OH; nieces Jill (Vik) Aroraof Hoover, AL, and Kristen (Mark) Catton of Columbus, OH;  andcountless relatives and friends. He is preceded in death by his parents and brother Charles. Ralph’s family wishes to thank Crossroads Hospice, especially Elizabeth and Sister Donna for the tender loving care and encouragement. Friends will be happy to know that Ralph retained his sense of humor to the end.  His loyalty and generosity set the bar high and will inspire us forever. Godspeed to a good, good man. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorial donations in Ralph’s name to Clague Playhouse, 1371 Clague Rd., Westlake, OH 44145.Private family services will be held at a later date.