Raphael T. Scalera passed away on July 28, 2020 at Viera Hospital in Melbourne, Florida of complications from Covid-19. He was surrounded by caring nurses and his children, via computer.
Born on October 25, 1921 in Astoria, NY to Frank and Fanny (DiStefano) Scalera, Ralph attended NY City Public Schools and NY Aviation College. He joined the Navy to serve in WWII and rose to the rank of Aviation Machinist's mate 1st class and later Petty Officer 3rd class. Ralph served in San Diego, CA and on the USS Princeton as a plane captain who was responsible for the materiel and operating condition of the plane engines; periodic checks and inspections of all aircraft. He was later sent to Quonset Point, RI where he met the love of his life, Yeoman First Class Jeannette Proulx. They were married on July 6, 1945 and enjoyed a wonderful life together for almost 71 years, until her death on June 21, 2016. They made their home in Old Bethpage, NY for over 50 years. Ralph and Jean then moved to Southbury CT for several years; then on to Melbourne Fl.
After the war, Ralph went to work for the Navy as a civilian at Grumman Aircraft Engineering Corporation in Bethpage, NY. He was in charge of the Navy's final aircraft acceptance. He was also proud of his work on the LEM (Lunar Excursion Module) that enabled him to work with the Apollo astronauts. Ralph retired with many distinguished awards from the Navy in 1973 and pursued a new career with IBM.
During all these years he enjoyed his greatest hobby - refereeing ice hockey games in Bethpage NY. His wife and daughters were his biggest fans! He loved to skate and tried very hard to teach Jean, Anne and Cathy. Unfortunately they didn't get that gene!
Ralph's greatest love was his family. Every summer they would spend a few weeks on Cape Cod enjoying family time at the beach, playing golf, sailing and splurging on a Coors Lite.
Ralph had many other hobbies and was able to pursue them when he retired. He played cards, baked the best bread, went to Long Island Duck hockey games, painted, listened to Big Band and Lawrence Welk music, cooked for his family and watched sports, especially baseball. His beloved Boston Red Sox were always a bone of contention with his daughters and sons-in-law! He liked nothing better than to put a game on TV and fall asleep in his recliner. Lookout if you tried to change the channel!
Ralph and Jean travelled to several states to visit family and friends. They enjoyed a great trip touring Italy, and really liked going to Lake Como where his Mom was born and raised. Ralph loved going with Jean to New York City to Broadway shows, Radio City Music Hall and Little Italy to dine out. Anywhere he went, Ralph would make new friends and loved to tell a good story or two.
Ralph's best experience of all time was when he went on the Space Coast Honor Flight to Washington D.C. With his son-in-law John as his companion, they toured the WWII Memorial and several other points of interest.
Ralph loved to cook for his family and friends, however, he very much enjoyed treating his family to different restaurants to find the best clam chowder, mussels and strawberry shortcake.
Ralph was an avid reader of mysteries, biographies, magazines and newspapers. His favorite were the books on all things technical and Navy. Recently he enjoyed watching Hallmark movies and Fox News on TV. He kept informed about what was going on in the world and loved to discuss it at length.
Ralph will be remembered and truly missed by all those who loved him, including his daughters, Anne Marie (John) Korothy of Melbourne Florida, Catherine (Kim) Weidman of Cobleskill, New York and his grandchildren Dr. Thomas (Kate) Weidman of Syracuse New York, Major Daniel (Erika) Weidman of North Carolina, Laura (Paul) McGeough of Cold Spring Harbor, NY, John (Vikki) Korothy of Merrick NY and Adam (Terri) Korothy of Brooklyn, New York. Also his great grandchildren Christian and Olivia McGeough; Jack and Layla Korothy; Clark, Orrin and Eliza Jean Weidman; Stephen Kim and Margaret Kyle Weidman.
Ralph is also survived by several nieces and nephews and good friends.
The family would like to thank his caring nurses at Viera Hospital for all their compassion, especially Kathleen; his Sonata Viera family for the past 7 years, especially Sarah, Janibell, Buffy, Nikki, Debbie, Cynthia, Linda & of course Chef Alex.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations in Ralph's name may be made to:
Disabled American Veterans
2265 N. Harbor City Blvd.
Melbourne, Fl. 32935
Due to Covid-19 a memorial service will be held at a later date.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Ralph T Scalera, please visit our floral store.