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Thursday, February 1, 2024
4:00 - 7:00 pm (Eastern time)
Friday, February 2, 2024
10:00 - 11:00 am (Eastern time)
Ralph William White, 92, peacefully passed on the morning of January 26, 2024, surrounded by members of his loving family. Born in Boston, Massachusetts, on October 25, 1931, he was the son of the late Ralph F. and Victoria (Slukus) White. Ralph's early years were spent in East Boston and Westwood, MA, where he graduated from Boston Trade High School with the Class of 1950. Following his graduation, he embarked on a remarkable journey of service to his country and community, first enlisting in the Marine Corps.
He was stationed in Korea with the First Marine Division as a rifleman on patrol. On October 29, 1951, while on patrol, Ralph encountered enemy fire and was subsequently wounded in action, defending his post. As a direct result of his courage and bravery under fire, Ralph was awarded the Bronze Star and the Purple Heart. Once he was safe behind the front lines, Ralph was transferred to a US Military Hospital in Japan for his lengthy recuperation.
Upon his return to stateside, Ralph and his beloved wife, Geraldine "Geri," eloped on November 4, 1952, in Kingsland, Georgia. Their love story spanned an incredible 62 years, and together they created a warm and welcoming home in Walpole, Massachusetts.
Ralph's life was a shining example of dedication and service. After his military service, he continued to serve the public as a Corrections Officer at Boston's Charles Street Jail and as one of the first officers at Walpole State Prison. Later, he became a state Parole Officer. His service came with sacrifices, as he survived an on-the-job shooting in Boston's South End, an incident that nearly claimed his life.
In 1968, Ralph co-founded the Mass Retirees Association at the age of 37, alongside a group of retired state employees and teachers. With more than 55,000 members from various public employment sectors, the Association has been at the forefront of advocating for public retirees' rights, particularly regarding pension and healthcare benefits. Ralph's leadership as Association President until his retirement in 2013 played a pivotal role in shaping public retirement laws and policies over four decades.
While Ralph worked hard to ensure the Mass Retirees had a dedicated support system, he knew the value of supporting his local community in Walpole. As a proud Marine, Ralph served as Commander of the Thomas H. Crowley American Legion, Post 104, in Walpole for several years. His love for baseball led him to coach the Legion Team and later become the head baseball coach at Walpole High School. For his outstanding coaching and years of mentoring the youth of Walpole, the sports complex at the Bird Middle School was dedicated in Ralph’s honor in 2015, ensuring that his contributions to the community would be remembered for generations to come.
Ralph was a true beacon of warmth, kindness, and generosity. His unwavering commitment to public service and helping others was unparalleled. Describing him as loving, caring, and friendly would only scratch the surface of the remarkable man he was. His presence radiated warmth, inviting conversation, and his laughter resonated as a cherished melody in the hearts of all who had the privilege of knowing him.
Ralph is survived by his brother, Terry White of Whitinsville, MA and the late Fred White, and leaves behind a legacy of love as the cherished father of Susan Rehrey and her husband Bill of Sharon, MA; Nancy Delaney and her husband Leo of Walpole, MA; and Lori Hastings and her husband Tim of Norton, MA and the late William “Billy” White. He was the loving grandfather of William Rehrey (deceased), Christopher Rehrey, Jill Rehrey, Benjamin Hastings, Emily Hastings, Kevin Delaney, and Joseph Delaney, and the great-grandfather of Bridget Rehrey, Liam Rehrey, Alice Rehrey, Teddy Hastings, and Callahan Hastings. Ralph's warmth, sense of humor, and companionship also enriched the lives of many nieces, nephews, and friends, who will always remember him fondly.
Relatives and friends are kindly invited to attend Ralph’s Life Celebration on Thursday, February 1, 2024, from 4 to 7 pm, in the James H. Delaney & Son Funeral Home, 48 Common Street, Walpole. A Funeral Service will be held on Friday, February 2, 2024, at 10:00 am in the United Church, 30 Common Street, Walpole. Interment will follow at Maple Grove Cemetery in Walpole.
In honor of Ralph's memory, a memorial scholarship has been established through the Walpole Scholarship Foundation. The Ralph W. White Memorial Scholarship will annually provide financial support to a graduating baseball player pursuing higher education. In lieu of flowers, the family kindly requests that donations be made to this scholarship (P.O. Box 58, East Walpole, MA 02032). For further details, please visit walpolescholarshipfoundation.org.
Ralph White's legacy of service, love, and camaraderie will forever resonate in the hearts of those he leaves behind. His memory will continue to inspire and uplift us as we remember the remarkable life he led.