Ralph Allen Fistel
June 20, 1931 – October 4, 2021
With profound sadness, we announce the passing of Ralph Fistel on October 4, 2021 at the age of 90. Ralph was a loving and devoted husband to Myrna, wonderful father of five, grandfather of ten, great-grandfather of two, and a trusted friend to many. Born on June 20, 1931 in New York, New York, Ralph graduated from Abraham Lincoln High School in Coney Island (Brooklyn) in 1949 where he was a perennial stickball champion, and University of Miami School of Education in 1953. He and Myrna met on sunny South Beach in 1952, fell in love soon after, and married on August 8, 1953. In their 68 years of wedded bliss together, they traveled the world from New Zealand to Netanya (Israel) to Naples (Italy) to Norway. During their summers off from teaching, Ralph and Myrna packed up their kids in a station wagon and crisscrossed the USA. Ralph was an avid sports fan, statistician, youth league coach, sports trivia ace, and always rooted for his beloved Dodgers, Lakers, Rams, Hurricanes and Heat. He was also a math whiz, avid reader, and history and classic movie buff. Ralph spent his entire 30-year teaching career with Miami-Dade Public Schools, including at Tucker Elementary, Tropical Elementary and Dade Elementary. He also served for many years as a local Teachers’ Union representative for Dade County. An advocate for social justice, he volunteered to be transferred to Dade Elementary during the integration of the public schools in the 1960s. Ralph taught hundreds of young children to love math, social studies, history, and the pursuit of knowledge. He was a founding member of The Coral Way Jewish Center, which later became Temple Or Olom, ultimately serving as its Treasurer and President for several years. Through the decades as the Temple congregation grew, he served as a valued member of the Board of Directors and President of its Men’s Club. He also served as a Regional Board Member of United Synagogue of America. Most recently, Ralph was a founding member of Congregation Dor Chadash. He was a dedicated and longtime volunteer and patron for many organizations, including the Armed Forces Service Center at Miami International Airport, The International Tennis Championships played on Key Biscayne, The Gusman Theater, The Actor’s Playhouse, and The Coconut Grove Playhouse. Ralph was the beloved father of Naomi (Jen), Jeffrey (Cherrie), Charles, Samuel, and Benjamin (Lara), grandfather of Shira (Jonathan), Gabriel (Jessica), Tova (Alex), Sloane (Noah), Alec, Alexa, Taylor, Julia, Micaela, and Hannah, and great-grandfather of Nava and Judah. He is preceded in death by his mother Bessie “Bee” Lemelman and father Walter Fistell. He lived a long and full life and will be dearly missed. The Fistel family will hold a Zoom memorial service on Wednesday, October 6 at 11am, and will sit Shiva via Zoom from 7pm to 9pm on Wednesday, October 6 and Thursday, October 7. Donations in Ralph’s honor may be made to Congregation Dor Chadash at https://shalomcloud.online/contribute_no_login?enc_name=RG9yX0NoYWRhc2hfTWlhbWk= or mailed to 9560 SW 107th Avenue, Suite 202, Miami, Florida 33176.
Wednesday, October 6, 2021