On Friday evening, May 3rd, Ralph Joseph Torrisi’s amazing journey on this planet came to a close, only to begin another adventure in the heavens. Ralph (Rafael) was born to the late Sebastino (Eddie) and the late Sebastina (Nellie Laudani) Torrisi in Lawrence, MA February 29, 1932. Growing up, he and his brother Alfred helped their family make wine in their cellar and spent many summers at the beach surrounded family. Ralph graduated from Central Catholic High School in Lawrence, MA; after which he enlisted in the United States Air Force. Ralph worked as a Gunner on a B36 during the Korean War, although he never saw battle. During a portion of his time with the Air Force, he was stationed in El Paso, TX. On one particular night, at a certain dance hall, he saw a young woman across the floor, Mary Guillen. After one look he knew he wanted to have the last dance with her. It was love at first sight. They were married in 1954 and they’ve been Jitterbugging ever since!
After Ralph’s Honorable Discharge from the Air Force, Ralph, Mary and their first daughter, Deb, (at that time only 9 months old) moved to San Jose, Ca. Not only was he a fierce fighter for his country, but ever so much for his family too. He put his whole self into whatever task he was working on. Whether it be repeatedly repairing the gate damaged by their nervous Lhasa Apso, Tashi, or providing for his family of four, which now included their second daughter Denise.
When his plan for his expected career turned in another direction, he shifted his path toward a lifetime career within the Teamsters Union. His dedicated career began as a Bread Truck driver. His honesty, integrity, and passion for helping those in need, lead him to many years of Union Leadership. In 1964, Ralph was elected as President of Teamsters Local 296, serving as both Business Agent and President until 1980, when he rose to the position of Secretary-Treasurer. He held that position until his retirement in 1998. During those years, he was also elected as a Trustee in 1975 to the Teamsters’ Joint Council No. 7. He then served as Secretary-Treasurer of Joint Council No. 7 from 1982-1998.
Ralph’s other leadership roles included Chairman of the Northern California Bakery Drivers Security Fund, Chairman of the Northern CA Soft Drink Industry Fund. He was also an active member of the Advisory Board to the Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Department; The State Compensation Insurance Fund Board of the Directors and The Western Conference of Teamsters Policy Committee.
Always the mechanic, Ralph was a Classic Car collector and an automobile aficionado. He was also actively involved in sports throughout most of his life, bowling, handball, pool and golf. His goal these past 16 months was to swing his golf clubs One. More. Time. We’re sure, he’s already scheduled a few Tee-Times by now.
He leaves behind his adored wife, Mary Torrisi of 65 years, wondering where the time went and for whom is she going to cook pasta, his two daughters, Deb Negrete and Denise Torrisi, son-in-law Frank Negrete, grandchildren Daniel, Frank Jr., and George Negrete, Adam and Rachel Nuno, and great grandchildren, Matt and Diego Negrete, his brother and sister-in-law Alfred and Shirley Torrisi of Massachusetts, his nephew and niece Brian Torrisi, Kristina Greco and their wonderful families, and many amazing cousins from Massachusetts, Florida, Chicago, Arizona, and Los Angeles, CA.
The family of Ralph J. Torrisi want to thank all of you for sharing your stories of Ralph, your hugs when words wouldn’t do, and your tissues for our tears.
If you choose, in leu of flowers, a donation in the name of Ralph J. Torrisi can be made to the American Heart Association: https://www.heart.org
The services for Ralph will be held on Saturday May 18, 2019
11:00 am MASS
St. Mary of the Immaculate Conception Catholic Church: 219 Bean Ave Los Gatos, CA 95030
12:30 pm BURIAL
Los Gatos Memorial Park: 2255 Los Gatos Almaden Rd, San Jose, CA 95124
1:30-4 pm A Celebration of Life
A Bellagio 33 S. Central Ave Campbell, CA