Ralph Melfi Jr., 82, formerly of Mount Vernon Drive, Ellwood City, passed away on Tuesday, June 6, 2017, at the Community Living Center of the Veterans Hospital in Butler.
Born on Feb. 7, 1935, in Wampum, he was the eldest son of the late Ralph and Philomena Barile Melfi Sr.
He was married to Takako "Kay" Melfi for 40 years when she passed away on Jan. 4, 2000.
Junior graduated from Wampum High School, where he played basketball and earned an athletic scholarship to attend Youngstown State University.
While in college, he was drafted into the Army and served during the Korean War.
After the war ended, he returned home and graduated from YSU. He then re-enlisted and began his 30 year military career. Junior traveled all over the world, serving his country earning many medals, including the National Defense Service Medal, Vietnam Campaign Medal, Vietnam Cross of Gallantry and the Meritorious Service Medal. During Vietnam, he served during the Tet Offensive. Retiring in 1988 as a sergeant major, Junior returned home to Ellwood City.
He was a life member of the VFW and the DAV.
Survivors include his son, Ralph (Alaine) Melfi III of Indianapolis, Indiana; his daughter, Deborah (Dave) Petrucci of New Castle; two sisters, Phyllis A. Melfi of Pittsburgh and Rose Marie Melfi of Mayfield Heights, Ohio; two brothers, William R. (Jeannie) Melfi and Donald L. (Jackie) Melfi, both of Ellwood City; and two grandchildren, Jenna and David Petrucci.
He was preceded in death by a son, Nicholas Patrick in 1971; and a brother, John J. Melfi in 2003.
Visiting hours will be held from 2 to 4 and 7 to 9 p.m. Friday at the Marshall Funeral Home, 341 Main St., Wampum.
A Mass of Christian burial will be celebrated at 10 a.m. Saturday at Holy Redeemer Church in Ellwood City.
Interment will follow in Holy Redeemer Cemetery. Full military rites will be offered by the New Castle Honor Guard.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Community Living Center of Butler VA Hospital, Attention MaryAnn/Recreation, 325 New Castle Road, Butler, PA 16001.
Online condolences may be offered to the family by visiting marshallsfh.com.
Published on June 7, 2017