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Bayside Community Mortuary

1610 Noche Buena Street, Seaside, CA

OBITUARY

Ralph Steven Rubio

May 21, 1951July 19, 2020

Ralph S. Rubio 5/21/1951-7/19/2020

Ralph Steven Rubio, age 69, peacefully passed away at home on Sunday, July 19, in the loving comfort of his wife and family. He faced a private, fierce six-year battle with Liver Cancer with quiet courageous determination, never letting it interfere with his passion to serve his family and community.

The eldest of three children of Salvador and Lupe Rubio, he was a Seaside native, attended Ord Terrace Elementary and Fitch Junior High schools. A 1969 graduate of Seaside High School, he attended the University of California, Berkeley in the early 1970’s during an era that he fully embraced and with many stories to share. After Berkeley, he hitchhiked across the country and spent a summer in Martha’s Vineyard, then explored Mexico.

He returned to Seaside and joined the Carpenters Apprenticeship Program, which would lead him to a 39-year career, 23 years as union carpenter with Local 605, then 16 years as a Northern California Carpenters Regional Council (NCCRC) Union Organizer and Senior Business Agent for Monterey and Santa Cruz Counties. His hand print remains on countless buildings, homes and bridges in Monterey County. His leadership skills reached across the nation. He was Union Strong.

His parents were founding members of the Saint Francis Xavier Catholic Parish where he was a young altar servant and remained a life-long parishioner. He was a member of the Knight of Columbus Seaside Council 5261 and Knights of Columbus, Santa Rosalia Assembly, 4th Degree.

He and his first wife, Karen Rede Rubio, spent many years in community service by coaching with Seaside Pony Baseball and volunteering with the Monterey Peninsula Y’s Men Club that raised funds for student scholarships. Some of his fondest memories were of them working the YMCA Christmas Tree Lot, Laguna Seca races, Special Olympics, Monterey Jazz Festival and Blues Festival concessions and coaching Little League. He treasured the friendships made with the Y’s Men families. And to see one of those Little League kids now grown with their own children made his heart swell. In May of 1994, after a very brave two-year battle, his beloved wife Karen lost her life to cancer at the age of 38.

A friendship with Gracie Contreras blossomed that led them to become true companions with deep abiding love. Soon, Ralph embarked on a new career path with the NCCRC which led to exciting opportunities to travel across the country teaching organizing leadership courses then become the Senior Business Agent for the two area locals. His organized labor experience and community service were a natural path toward public service. He was approached by Seaside Mayor Jerry Smith to consider running for City Council, and after careful consideration with Gracie, announced his candidacy.

Together, with the help of family, friends and union strong support, they ran a true grassroots campaign. Ralph canvassed door to door to earn community support and Gracie handled the campaign and events tasks. He enjoyed a resounding victory on Election Day 2000. An extraordinary life began for them. Their partnership was a powerful bond.

In May 2004, Ralph and Gracie celebrated their wedding fiesta where he toasted his bride as his “angel”. They shared a joyful life of 26 years, 16 as husband and wife. Their loving home was the gathering place for holiday celebrations and Sunday family dinners. They treasured simple pleasures of long drives, music, Giants baseball games, Seaside Spartans football games, movie date nights, time with family and friends, and a love of travel. Some memorable trips were to Puerto Rico, Halloween in New Orleans, Chicago, San Antonio, Santa Fe, Tucson, and Oahu. Their first trip was to Maui, and it would remain their special paradise retreat.

Ralph was elected Mayor of Seaside in November 2004 and served six terms for a total of 12 years as the first Latino and longest serving mayor in the city’s history. He served the City of Seaside for a total of 16 years. His passionate dedication and vision helped move the city forward and guided Seaside through an economic recession and economic revitalization. He tirelessly worked toward creating a sustainable water source for the Monterey Peninsula. He formed strong friendships with other local elected officials and was highly respected for being fair and keenly astute of the issues at hand. He chaired several local boards and commissions including Association of Monterey Bay Area Governments, Transportation Agency for Monterey County, Fort Ord Reuse Authority, and the Seaside Groundwater Basin Water Master.

He also served on the boards of Monterey Regional Water Pollution Control Agency, Seaside County Sanitation District, Monterey Regional Water Authority, and Local Agency Formation Commission of Monterey County and Monterey County Workforce Investment Board.

He was a member of National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials, League of United Latin American Citizens, National Council of La Raza, National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.

Ralph and Gracie strongly supported the military community and made lasting friendships by attending many military events. They had the rare opportunity to dine with Generals and Astronauts and Ralph even got an invitation to go onboard a submarine. He earned a Certificate of Leader Development at the Army War College National Security Seminar in 2016.

Ralph was awarded the 2016 Monterey Peninsula Chamber of Commerce Public Official of the Year. Shortly after his retirement from the Carpenters/NCCRC Union in 2014, Ralph was diagnosed with Liver Cancer and for six years was in the excellent care of the Stanford Liver Cancer Clinic and Pacific Cancer Care. His quiet determination and strong faith allowed him to stay focused on his public service.

Despite his illness and daunting treatments, he kept “Seaside First” by winning two subsequent mayoral elections. He reluctantly retired from public service in 2018. Among many recognitions of his public service was a Congressional Record of the United States House of Representatives 115th Congress presented by the Honorable Congressman Jimmy Panetta.

Ralph was extremely fortunate to have a brilliant medical team at Stanford guiding him and Gracie through the journey. We offer deep appreciation to Dr. Mindy Nguyen, Dr. Cheryl Cho-Phan, Dr. John Louie and Dr. Tyler Johnson. Our deepest gratitude goes to Dr. Brendon Visser (Stanford) and Dr. Zachary Koontz (Pacific Cancer Care) for helping Ralph to continually beat the odds against his cancer. His tenacity for life and true grit was inspiring. We also want to thank Dr. Martha Blum of the Community Hospital of the Monterey Peninsula and Ralph’s longtime physicians and friends, Dr. Mike Galloway and Dr. David Straface.

He was immensely blessed to have his son-in-law, Eric Moore, and longtime best friend, Alex Rodriguez, generously help Gracie care for him in the comfort of home with the aid of Central Coast Visiting Nurse Association. His last days were peaceful and comfortable thanks to Stephan Georis, CCVNA Hospice R.N.

Ralph is predeceased by his first wife Karen Rede Rubio, father Salvador Rubio, and sister Mary Rubio Emmons.

Left to lovingly cherish his memory are his devoted wife, Gracie Rubio, his mother Lupe Rubio, his children Michelle Rubio Moore (Eric), and Mario Rubio, his grandchildren, Jazmin, Zachary, Alec, Kaleigh, Kianna, great-granddaughter, Abigail and his brother, Gil Rubio (Roxanna). He also leaves his canine constant companion, Cleo. An extended group of family, friends and colleagues share in mourning his passing.

In his memory, it is the intention of his children and grandchildren to fundraise for playground equipment and improvements to Rubio Field at Metz Park, which was dedicated to him in 2018. His wife and family are deeply moved by the tremendous outpouring of support from the community.

Due to the pandemic, a public celebration of Ralph’s life will be held at a future date. At 10:00 A.M. on Thursday, August 6th, Ralph will be escorted for a final cruise around Seaside, the city he lived in, served and loved.

Services

No public services are scheduled at this time. Receive a notification when services are updated.

Memories

Ralph Steven Rubio

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Carolyn DiMaggio

August 6, 2020

My sincerest condolences to Gracie, Gil and all of Ralph’s family and friends! I’ve known Ralph since we were pre- teens growing up in Seaside, when I lost Rudy I will never forget Gracie coming to my aid in my grief telling me about Mission Mortuary’s daily affirmations, reading them daily truly helped and I pray she is now reading them daily! Rest In Peace Ralph, you are truly missed! You will always be remembered as a friend and Seasides mayor! Gods Blessings! 🙏🏼🙏🏼

Michelle Wimbush

August 6, 2020

The Wimbush family would like to send our heartfelt condolences to the family of Ralf Rubio. Mr. Rubio would tell me stories about him and my father being altar boys at st Francis Xavier church and other fun times from him and my father’s childhood. He always had a hug for my grandma when he saw her and always let me know how proud my grandparents would be of how I handled things when they passed away. It was a blessing to have had such a great family friend and community leader.

Dan and Joanne Albert

August 6, 2020

Dear Gracie and Family,
You are in our thoughts and prayers today. We will share the motorcade tomorrow. We will always remember Ralph as our friend, a good man and a gentleman. He will also be remembered as a great Mayor for Seaside and for the Region. He was fun to be around and a Real Statesman. We all will miss him. Take Care.
Love, Dan and Joanne

Dennis Alexander

August 3, 2020

Laurel and I remember Ralph with great respect and fondness. He was a true mentor and friend, as well as a dedicated community leader. His love for Seaside and all Monterey County communities was unprecedented and greatly admired. We are so grateful to have known him and we miss him already. Heartfelt condolences to Gracie and the Rubio family.

Cindy & Ed Denning

August 2, 2020

Gracie and the Rubio Family,
Please accept our heartfelt sympathies at this difficult time.
Ralph was a man we truly enjoyed running into. Carpenters Union, St Francis Xavier and our quest for the better burger... In N Out were a few things we shared. Ralph’s smile and kind calming demeanor are something we will always carry in our memories.

Death leaves a heartache no one can heal
Love leaves a memory no one can steal

Our prayers go out for Ralph and all of you.
May he Rest In Peace

Elizabeth Totaan Agues

August 1, 2020

My sincere condolence to Gracie and family. May He Rest In Peace🙏

Gina Urmatan

July 31, 2020

Rest In Peace Ralph. You have touched many lives. We are all blessed to have been a part of your life as part of the Seaside community. You have also blessed us with your wife Gracie who has also been actively involved in the community that I am proud to consider as a friend.

God bless to the entire Rubio family. May the memories of Ralph’s life provide you with the comfort you need.

Stacey Bishop

July 31, 2020

He was the best Mayor ever, God bless the family and friends.

Cindy Fogleman-Virtue

July 31, 2020

Gracie my deepest Sympathy to you and family. Sending you thoughts your way during this difficult time hoping every day get a little easier. God Bless
Cindy Virtue

Michael Ward

July 31, 2020

Ralph was a great man and a great friend and he will be greatly missed by everyone. I was really fortunate to have been able to know him and to be able to benefit from his knowledge, mentoring and experience. My condolences to his family from the Ward family and from the American Legion Post 591 family.

FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY

Ralph and Gilbert

FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY

Karen, Ralph, Mary & Gil in late 1970's