Mazzeo, Ralph A.

Ralph A. Mazzeo U.S. Army WWII
Ralph A. Mazzeo U.S. Army WWII

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Date of Birth: 5/3/1914
Died On: 2/15/1991 Last Residence: 10573, Port Chester, Westchester, New York
Street Address: 89 Napel Street
Service Number: 32192737
Branch of Service: U.S. Army-WWII

Veteran Code: USARMY-416

Ralph A. Mazzeo

Ralph A. Mazzeo was born on 5/3/1914 in New York. He grew up in Rye (Population: 9,865 people) and lived at 89 Grapel Street (Street View). Ralph’s father, Anthony Mazzeo, purchased the house for $8,400 ($159,600 in today’s money) and served as head of house. Ralph lived with his father, his Mother Rose, his younger sister Emma, and his younger brother Aldo. Ralph’s parents were both born and Italy and naturalized as U.S. citizens. Ralph and his siblings were all born in New York. His father completed all four years of High School while his mother left school after the 8th grade. Ralph attended Resurrection Grammar School, Rye High School (Class of 1934), and Iona Preparatory School in New Rochelle. After high school, he went to Georgetown University in Washington D.C. . At the time of the 1940 census, Ralph stated that his father worked on his own account for an income of $2,000, and his sister worked as a bookeeper for a private industry making an income of $350. Ralph enlisted and served in the U.S. Army during WWII.

Ralph was a Rye High School Graduate, Class of 1934. Throughout high school, Ralph was academically successful and active in several sports and activities. He was the Class Vice President in 10th grade and then became the Class President and Leader in 11th. Ralph participated in music opportunities being a singer for the dramatic society and taking part in the music program at school assemblies. Ralph played several sports throughout high school as well. He played football from 10th grade through 12th, started track in 11th grade and continued in 12th grade, and played basketball. He played guard and tackle and was the captain of the football team in his junior year. As captain, he was considered for All County Recognition. The Rye High School track team was the most successful team in the high school’s track history and at the time broke several records.

After high school, Ralph continued football at Iona Preparatory School in New Rochelle. He then went on to attend and graduate from Georgetown University in Washington D.C. He graduated from the American Academy of Mortuary in NYC in 1939 and received his Funeral Director’s license in 1941. He became associated with Savidge Funeral Home on Purdy Avenue as an associate funeral director and embalmer. Ralph also served as the advisor for Rye’s “Mohican Club”. He played semi-professional football for several Port Chester area teams and joined the Rye Men’s Choir Club.

Ralph was selected in January of 1942 for World War II and served in the U.S. Army. In April of 1942, Ralph was admitted to the Officers’ Training School at Fort Benning, GA. He served as an instructor in the infrantry school at Fort Benning. Ralph was discharged as a staff sergeant and finished his service in 1945.

Ralph married Josephine Riimillo in 1943 and had a daughter, Rosemary. He was a member of the Town of Rye Chamber of Commerce, the board of directors of the Don Bosco Center, the Catholic War Veterans; American Legion, Knights of Columbus, the Elks, the Rye AAA, the Old' Timers Association,' the Kiwanis' Club and the Holy Name Society of Holy Rosary Church. He was president of Port Chester’s civics club, third vice-commander of the Fallen Heads Legion Post, and a part of the Veteran’s Association Housing Committee and the Rye Chapter of the Triple A as well. Ralph contributed around Rye by supporting events held by Resurrection School and other local-run clubs and participating on the school board. He also spent time playing in local soft ball leagues. Ralph established and owned the Port Chester Colony Funeral Home in 1960 and Port Chester Craft Funeral Home in 1981.

Ralph A. Masseo passed away of heart failure on February 15th, 1991. He was 76 years old. He was survived by his daughter, his siblings, and two grandchildren.

Will Puzzuoli
Class of 2024
Sources Used: Obituary, Census’, Rye Chronicle Articles, Enlistment Record

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