Ralph D. Stampone Obituary – The News Journal

Ralph D. Stampone, 95, a long-time resident of Heritage Park, Wilm., DE, left this deadly roll on March 19, 2023. He was an irrepressibly attractive character, teacher, executive, sports fan, and participant . humanities enthusiast and humanitarian extraordinaire. He loved people and they loved him.

Born on July 15, 1927, in Bangor, Pennsylvania, Ralph grew up there and in neighboring Roseto, Pennsylvania, named by its Italian immigrant founders after the Apulian city (“Puglia”) from which their families (including his own) hailed. ). He is a 1945 graduate of Bangor High School (Go Slaters!), nicknamed “Prep” for his collegiate dress, intelligence and fluid movements.

He then joined the US Army Air Forces, proudly serving in the “Hurricane Hunters” in West Palm Beach, FL. Using his GI Bill to attend Lafayette College (Go Leopards!), Ralph graduated in 1951 with a degree in languages. (He later earned a master’s degree from Columbia.) He worked as a teacher at Valley Forge Military Academy and in Plainfield, NJ.

In 1955, he married the spirited Doris R. Snyder of East Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania, whom he met at a Charlie Barnet concert in Saylorsburg, Pennsylvania. (Ralph adored big bands and their singers, none more so than Frank Sinatra.) He became an insurance agent for Metropolitan Life in Elizabeth, NJ. A son was born in 1957; another in 1961.

In 1969, Ralph moved the family to San Juan, Puerto Rico, to take up an executive position. In 1970, he was hired by American Life Insurance of Wilm., DE, purchasing a home there, his residence for 50 years (before moving to The Summit in 2021). He worked for 3 years in Madrid, Spain, and also in: Cameroon; the Dominican Republic; and back in Puerto Rico (where he and Doris entertained her sister Janet and her husband Tony Corrado of Long Island, NY for many holidays).

He made many lasting friendships and stayed with old friends back home; he got to know his wife’s relatives better through weekend trips to his home in Delaware Water Gap.

He and Doris traveled extensively after they retired. Ralph also began volunteering in Honduras for CAMO (Centro American Medical Outreach), where he helped translate. He made annual self-funded trips there until the late 1980s, establishing cherished ties with the likes of Tim Larson and Conchita Baide.

Ralph’s last 3 decades were rich, as he: took classes at the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute; he played tennis at Delcastle Center with other seniors (Go “Model A”!); he cheered and moaned over the teams of Philadelphia sports fans (Go Phils! Go Birds! — and yes, he deliberately delayed his demise until the Eagles reached Super Bowl LVII) along with tennis and football favorites (Come on Rafa! Come on Real Madrid CF!); supported his talented grandchildren in sports and non-sports endeavors; he attended many artistic events; he wrote spirited Letters to the Editor: he grew up poor during the Depression, was a Democrat loyal to FDR to the end (but respected all opinions), and sang for everyone with charm and soul…

He found great fulfillment at St. James’s Church of the Mill Creek Hundred, where the family has been a parishioner since 1970. Ralph became more involved in later years, through charity work and the choir; there he forged a close friendship with “his little sister” Cindy Fauerbach, with whom he shared a birthday.

Ralph is survived by and his children, Daniel (and his partner Liz), of Newark, DE, and David (and his fiancée Laurel), both of Philadelphia, PA, will be greatly missed; his grandchildren, Allison, Daniel, Jr. (and his wife Mary his), and Andrew; his sisters-in-law, Kathleen and Mary; many nieces and nephews, including her twin godchildren Amy Lee and Allan; as well as innumerable friends, both foreign and national. He was preceded in death by Doris, his wife of 65 years; his sister Dorie; and his loving mother Millie and his father Dan.

Family and friends are invited to attend an 11 am service on Saturday, April 1, 2023 at St. James’ Mill Creek Episcopal Church, 2106 St. James Church Rd., Wilmington, DE 19808. 1:30 pm; burial will take place on site in the church graveyard after the service.

The family thanks the staff at The Summit and Complete Care in Brackenville, both in Hockessin, DE, along with the Vitas hospice nurses who helped him through his final weeks.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Prostate Cancer Foundation at 1250 4th St., Santa Monica, CA 90401 or online at www.pcf.org.

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Published online on March 25, 2023

Posted in daily news


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