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Montecito Memorial Park and Mortuary

3520 E Washington St, Colton, CA

OBITUARY

Ralph D'Errico Jr.

December 23, 1952May 14, 2019
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Ralph D'Errico Jr., age 66 went peacefully on Tuesday May 14, 2019. Ralph was born December 23, 1952 in Columbus, Ohio.

A funeral service for Ralph will be held Wednesday, May 29, 2019 at 1:00 PM at Montecito Valley View Chapel, 3520 E. Washington Street, Colton, California. Following the funeral service will be an interment at 2:30 PM at Montecito Memorial Park, 3520 E. Washington Street, Colton, California.

Fond memories and expressions of sympathy may be shared at www.montecitomemorialparkandmortuary.com for the D'Errico family.

Services

  • Funeral Service Wednesday, May 29, 2019
  • Interment Wednesday, May 29, 2019

Memories

Ralph D'Errico Jr.

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Lukas Feles

May 28, 2019

May loving memories of Ralph be eternal. We are thinking of you and your family in these tough times and wishing you peace and comfort. Ralph will truly be missed. With love from Lukas and the crew at Pride Automotive.

darlene walsh

May 28, 2019

Dear Ellen

What I will miss the most are the emails the jokes, Ralph and I have shared for the last 15 plus years. Sharing our health, comparing medications, physical problems as he knew I understood what he was going through. and of course, me sending him research. I was constantly hounding him to move from Tuscon back to you. and was thrilled when he did. We complained about treatment and about the health care system. the paperwork, the more we would complain the more we would laugh and ultimately be grateful for what we had and the people in our lives. I do know his favorite memories he shared with me were of you, his love of his fishing trips with you and the intricate fly fishing tie awards he was so proud of. He showcased his flower and landscape photography and many pictures of your hands with the little fish you caught.
Remember those good times. Those are the memories I will treasure of him. I will miss my Email buddy very much.
Sending peace, and light. always Darlene

Joanne Leach

May 27, 2019

Ellen,
Your love and devotion to Ralph was unconditional. May the good memories carry you thru this time of sorrow. Ralph was a special brother-in-law. He is sharing his love for fly-fishing now in heaven with his brother Charlie.

Jan and Kevin Nick

May 24, 2019

As part of the School of Nursing Family, Kevin and I also remember Ralph coming with Ellen to our Spiritual Retreats at Camp Cedar Falls and they went on Bird walks with us in the morning. I remember him teaching us all how to fly fish, and how to make the fly to put on the line. With his typical gentleness and patience, he would demonstrate the cast with grace, and we would awkwardly try to duplicate. I remember his eyes would light up when talking about the different and very intricate flies and showing us one of his special flies that was featured in a magazine along with his photo. The detailed craftsmanship really caught the attention of Kevin who also likes to make things with his hands. I remember seeing photos of him and Ellen fly fishing in beautiful rivers around the U.S., and thought how refreshing to the spirit it must have been. Finally, Ellen had such an endearing name and used to refer to him as "Ralphie." Rest in peace, Ralphie, rest in Jesus. Jan and Kevin Nick

Ken Campbell

May 21, 2019

Ralph was a steadfast and loyal friend. He was kind and generous to a fault. It was a pleasure and an honor to call him my friend, and he was like the brother I never had, there through the good times and bad. I shall dearly miss him all of my remaining days, and will fondly cherish all the wonderful times spent fishing with him on rivers, streams, and lakes. Rest In Peace, dear friend.

Nia Martin

May 21, 2019

Dr. D,

May the angels in heaven send comfort in the days of storm.

May our prayers be with you to give you strength during this time of loss.

Deepest Condolences,
PhD Student Community

Deborah and John Henry

May 17, 2019

Dear Ellen,

Our hearts, thoughts, and prayers are with you. May loving memories help to comfort you each day. All our love, Deborah and John

Beth Johnston Taylor

May 16, 2019

Dear Ellen,

Hugs to you as you walk through this valley in the shadows. Even though there is sadness, may you fear not, knowing God is with you. Surely goodness will follow you....

I remember your telling me the story of how you met Ralph. It is a good one! Standing in line, waiting... reading the ads to avert boredom... how one caught your heart... how your life was forever changed.

You've lived for easily over a dozen years with Damocles' sword hanging over you. What a crucible. What inner strength it has honed.

May there be hints of springtime amidst this wintery season of grief, exhaustion, and personal upheaval. All will be well...some day... 'Til then, we have this hope....

Love you,
Beth

Zelne Zamora

May 16, 2019

I remember Ralph and Ellen were avid fishermen. They did a demo for one of the spiritual retreats for the LLU School of Nursing on how to cast a fishing line. Many nursing students thought that was a highlight of the retreat as Ralph showed them all of the lures and baits he had tied himself as well as casting fishing lines on the field. I will remember the photos of him in his fishing hat and waders! It was a good time and tied in well with the message about being "fishers of men".

FROM THE FAMILY
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FROM THE FAMILY

Biography

EULOGY FOR RALPH D'ERRICO JR. FROM HIS WIFE, ELLEN

Ralph D’Errico Jr. was the love of my life., my soul mate, my best friend.
Many of you have heard the story of how we met, but for those of you who didn’t—we met back in 1986 through a classified ad —pre internet. My sister Joanne had come for a visit from back east. We took a trip into LA to watch a game show being taped at CBS studios. Waiting for our turn to be part of an audience, I had nothing to read so I ran over to the farmer’s market to find a magazine. On the counter was a small booklet named “Intro,” a little magazine where young men and woman would place an ad to find love. We were looking though the profiles, and suddenly my sister pointed to a picture of a very clean cut young man and said—“Here’s one for you.” It was Ralph. “Oh no! I said. I’d never try to meet anyone this way—he’s probably an ax murderer! My sister returned home, and I looked at that ad again. I decided I would make the contact but only give my phone number. He called me shortly after, invited me to dinner at the Red Lobster in Upland---and from that point on we became inseparable. Inside joke between the two of us—“it pays to advertise.”
As a young man, Ralph was always interested in science and engineering. He loved geology and was fascinated by rocks and minerals. He loved studying fossils and dinosaur bones. His first job was at the Magic Lamp Inn in Rancho Cucamonga, a fine restaurant that is still in business today. He had to work his entire way through college, so it took longer than 4 years, but once he graduated with his Bachelor’s degree in physics, he got a job at General Dynamics starting off in the print shop, which helped him develop an eye for creating professional looking documents and presentations. As an aerospace engineer, he did image processing and algorhytm development for missile defense systems. Once I asked him how he felt about developing weapons of war, after all, Ralph was fundamentally a sweet and gentle person. Being fiercely patriotic, he explained that our country’s best offense was a strong defense, and he always hoped that these weapons would never have to be used. However, if it came to a war, he wanted to know that his work was “protecting the life of an 18 year old soldier in an American tank.” He believed in the second amendment and was a card carrying member of the National Rifle Association.
I learned to live with the temperament of an engineer. They are programmed to figure out everything that can go wrong in a situation, and they do their best to mitigate all problems before they start, which can lead to “analysis paralysis.” Ralph NEVER made snap decisions, as evidenced by the 8 years we dated before he asked me to marry him. However, once Ralph made a decision, it was always a good one.
How would I describe Ralph? Loyal, dependable, accountable, honest, pure hearted are just a few adjectives. His mother described Ralph to me this way, “You could set your watch by him.” You could ALWAYS count on Ralph to follow though on whatever he promised. His brother Charles told me once that Ralph could never pass up a kid selling Girl Scout Cookies, wrapping paper, light bulbs or whatever product you really didn’t need but kids were selling to raise money. Ralph was devoted to his younger brother, and was broken-hearted when Charlie succumbed to cancer two years ago. He loved his twin sisters, who helped save his life during and after his stem cell transplant for multiple myeloma 18 years ago. He also cherished his only niece, Jenny.
Ralph did not lie. It was not in his DNA. Knowing that, you did not ask Ralph a question like, “Do I look fat in this outfit?” Because he would tell you the truth, although he would always try to appeal to logic, not emotions in his answers. Keepsakes from his school days were his badge from being a member of the school safety patrol, and a patch that said “Honor Cabin” from when he was in Boy Scout camp. Ralph was a protector. If you were his friend---he would be loyal to you and would always “have your back.” Whenever I had to go to a conference or off site meeting for work, he made sure to have his 1992 Ford Explorer gassed up and ready to go in case my car broke down and I needed to be rescued.
Ralph loved catch and release flyfishing. His greatest joy was catching a fish on a dry fly he tied himself. He was a master fly tyer. The work was intricate, and he took great pains to create realistic, beautiful, accurate works of art. He won contests and had his fly creations published in the “Fly Fishing and Tying Journal.” To watch him cast was a thing of beauty. His line, perfectly arched in the air, back and forth, back and forth and with his line ultimately falling perfectly straight on the water. Other fisherman would stop what they were doing and just watch him. It was like a sportsman’s ballet of perfect movement and timing. AND HIS HAT! His Indiana Jones fishing hat was his signature piece of clothing. He wore it everywhere.
Unlike some men, who may not like to have their wives share their hobby, Ralph loved it when I went fishing with him. He taught me everything I know about flyfishing and spin casting and I must say, over the years I got pretty good at it (but never as good as Ralph). No matter how many times my line got hopelessly tangled, or when my many flycasts ended up stuck in the trees; no matter how much gear I ended up losing in the creek, Ralph NEVER lost patience with me or anyone else who fished with him. If there was a little kid at the lake, and Ralph hooked on to a fish, he would hand his fishing rod to the child and let them reel the fish in. He wanted to share his love of fishing and fly tying with whomever would listen or express an interest.
Ralph was the bravest (except when paper tape was removed from his skin), most perseverant man I’ve ever known. He was a hard worker, and was respected on the job for his accuracy, accountability, and thorouoghness. Ralph’s sweet, generous, pure spirit, made him a man after God’s own heart. God looked after Ralph though every health crisis (of which there were many) some of which began as a young child. He lived longer than anyone else in his experimental myeloma treatment protocol. Caring for his health was a full time job, yet he managed his symptoms courageously and with diligence.
I firmly believe that it was the Lord that brought Ralph and I together. Jesus knew that I needed a kind, stable, faithful presence in my life, and that Ralph needed a loving companion, friend and nurse. We were very happy. He was my one and only and I shall miss him always.
In the world of fisherman, when you hook a fish and it tugs, you have a “tight line.”
When you want to wish a fisherman well, you say “Tight lines, my friend.”
I have every confidence, EVERY CONFIDENCE that Ralph will walk with Jesus. After all, Jesus loved to hang out with fisherman. Our Lord will show my sweetheart the best places to fish in the earth made new. Jesus will explain to Ralph the reasons for his sufferings here on earth, and every sorrow will be rectified by the God that loved my Ralphie so much. And now I have to say goodbye for now to my wonderful husband. Tight lines, my darling, TIGHT LINES.