BOARDMAN, Ohio (MyValleyTributes) – Ralph Sinistro, of Boardman, our great father passed away on Monday, March 30, 2020.
Ralph will always be remembered as a true gentleman, a sharp dresser and great dancer. Ralph loved all the good things in life and was always willing to help anyone in need.
He was born in the Smoky Hollow neighborhood of Youngstown, the son of the late Michael and Genevieve Sinistro who were from Bagnoli del Trigno, Molise Italy and Ralph was a lifelong area resident.
Ralph graduated from The Rayen School and was our hero and a proud Korean War Air Force veteran and member of a crew that flew 37 missions over Korea. He was awarded the Korean Service Medal, United Nations Service Medal, the National Defense Service Medal and the Good Conduct Medal. After the service Ralph earned his cosmetology license from the Paramount Beauty Academy in Youngstown and started his career in the beauty business.
Ralph worked hard all his life and loved to recall his teen years at FJ Rosenbaum’s clothing store in downtown Youngstown. He also apprenticed with his father, Michael, as a stone mason/brick layer and would often point out churches and buildings that they worked on around Youngstown.
An icon in the beauty business, the handsome Ralph founded and operated Ralph and Friends beauty salon in Boardman for over 60 years. Ralph served as the President of the State of Ohio hair fashion committee and was a platform artist for Revlon. A mentor to many up and coming cosmetologists Ralph inspired many to enter the beauty business. Daughter, Candy, continues the business today.
Ralph married the beautiful love of his life, Pearl, in 1954. Pearl’s Spanish roots blended perfectly with Ralph’s Italian heritage and they started their family and lived life to the fullest. They were looking forward to celebrating their wedding anniversary on May 1, 2020.
First and foremost Ralph was passionate about family. Sundays, holidays and birthdays were celebrated with wine, pasta, sauce and meatballs or Pearl’s wonderful Spanish rice and everyone around the dining room table. He had a sweet tooth and was often caught sneaking or sharing a treat. Whether you called him Dad, Grampa, Papa, Uncle or friend, Ralph took a special interest in everyone he knew and made each of us feel special, especially his grandchildren.
Ralph and his lovely wife, Pearl, were admired for their dancing and singing skills and enjoyed a wonderful social life with many dear friends, especially the Fonderlac Country Club group. Ralph also loved golf and played in the Boulevard golf league for many years. Ralph loved flying and earned his private pilot’s license at Southern Airways in Boardman. He was also an artist and he is remembered for his oil paintings and his sketches of hairstyles often found on the kitchen table.
Ralph was proud of his Italian heritage and was thrilled to stay with family at the family home in Bagnoli when he, Pearl and son, Ralph, toured Italy in 2005. Ralph and son loved to recall the night they shared a bottle of wine on the piazza and discussed family roots and that Frank Sinatra’s real name was Sinistro.
A highlight of Ralph’s life was in 2016 when he was voted Youngstown Italian man of the year.
He loved his Smoky Hollow roots and the annual Bagnolese Sausage Party of which his mother, Genevieve, was a founder.
Ralph will be missed dearly by his wife, Pearl (Purita) Berezo Sinistro, who adored him; sisters and brother-in-law, Dolores Oles and Joanne and Wendell Jones and many cousins, nieces and nephews whose lives he touched; son, Ralph Sinistro (Beth), daughters, Celeste Sinistro, Melinda Rulli (Mark), Melissa Sinistro (George Paree), Candy LaRocca (Mario) and Hunter’s father and dear friend, Mark Gervelis; the loves of his life grandchildren, Alexis Kepford (Douglas Martin), Hunter Gervelis (Qinmo), Celeste and Rachel Sinistro, Maria and Cristina LaRocca, Sean Sayeg-Carr (Victoria) and great-grandson, Sage Martin.
Ralph was preceded by his parents, Michael and Genevieve Sinistro; a sister, Phyllis LaGuardia and brothers-in-law, Bill LaGuardia and Ben Oles; Aunt Mary Thomas and Uncle Joseph Pilla and mother and fathers-in-law, Frank and Pura Paz Berezo.
Ralph’s family wishes to express appreciation to all that are offering condolences at this time but have elected to have private services due to the outbreak of the Coronavirus. They will be planning in the future to have a celebration of Ralph’s life at a later date which all will be welcome to attend and will be announced at a later date.
In memory of Ralph put on some Sinatra or Bocelli, make a scattone and think of him. Scattone recipe: Boil water and angel hair nests, pour some of the water into a bowl with the pasta, pour a cup of red wine over, grind black pepper and enjoy.
Thanks to all who love him and have cared for him. A special thanks to Dr. Walter Pasarello and Dr. Stephen Ellis and the medical staff at the Cleveland Clinic.
Ralph loved life and people. We will forever hold him in our hearts.
Arrangements have been entrusted to the professional care of the Rossi & Santucci Funeral Home, 4221 Market Street, Boardman.
Memorial contributions may be sent to the Ralph and Friends beauty salon fund in care of Ralph and Friends Salon, 5086 Market Street, Boardman, OH 44512.
Family and friends may visit www.rossisantuccifh.com to sign the guest book and send condolences to Ralph’s family.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Ralph Sinsitro, please visit our floral store.