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Obituary for Ralph Hassell

Ralph  Hassell
Ralph Ellis Hassell, Jr. passed away at Grossmont Sharp Hospital on March 18, 2015. Ralph was born in Rockford, Illinois on April 17, 1928. He was a beloved husband, father, grandfather and friend to all he knew. Ralph NEVER met a stranger!

Ralph was the only child of Ralph Ellis Hassell, Sr and Naomi (Peterson) Hassell. At an early age, the family moved to Beverly Hills, CA where he spent his childhood riding his bike all over the west side of Los Angeles. When he was twelve, Ralph secured his first job in a bike shop, learning how to tinker with and rebuild bicycles.

During the latter part of WWII, Ralph served in the United States Army. When the war in the Pacific ended, he was deployed to Northern Japan as part of the Occupation Force. Ralph served his country as a proud member of the 11th Airborne.

After his Army years, Ralph worked for the Santa Fe Railroad in several capacities, and was based out of Los Angeles and San Diego. It was during this time he married Ruth Eleanor Thompson in 1954 and settled in Santa Ana and Fullerton where they began raising their three daughters. In 1965, Ralph moved his family to La Mesa as the San Diego/Imperial County area opened up a new career opportunity for him. He had begun his career in merchandising and sales several years earlier, working over the course of his career for Proctor & Gamble, Hills Bros Coffee, Sunshine Biscuits and Keebler. Ralph was a respected member of the merchandising field, serving as the President of the San Diego Grocery Sales Club and on their Board of Directors. He also held a Bachelor’s Degree in Marketing from the University of Los Angeles.

In 1983, after 29 years of marriage, Ruth passed away. Ralph busied himself by being semi-retired and also working for Enterprise Rental Car, as a part-time driver. He always had a passion for driving so his years at Enterprise shuttling cars around Southern California were filled with many stories and good friends. Ralph also became active in the 11th Airborne Association and served as President of the San Diego Chapter and on the National Board of Directors. He thoroughly enjoyed the camaraderie he found with fellow veterans at the meetings and reunions. Ralph participated in these functions from 1985 until declining health forced him to cut back his activities in 2012.

Ralph was predeceased by his wife Ruth (Thompson) Hassell. He is survived by his daughters Melissa Hassell (Michele), Christina vonHassell-Berry (John), and Whitney Straub (Robert); and three grandchildren, Fraser Berry, Amanda Straub and Joshua Straub. Additionally, Ralph had wonderful neighbors (Scott Smith & family, Joan Goodman & family, Martha & Wayne Hopkins) who were always available to help with anything he needed, especially in his older age. He also spent many great conversations over many cups of coffee with his loyal friend Jack Snyder, who is now a blessing to Ralph’s daughters.

Ralph was an avid sports fan, quick-witted and always ready with a good joke! He adored four-legged creatures big and small, always opening his heart and home to any strays. He was fascinated with all types of aircraft, especially military and commercial. Therefore it is only fitting that Ralph will be laid to rest at Miramar National Cemetery, with the Marine Corps Air Station pilots flying overhead!.

Services to be held at Miramar National Cemetery at a later date. In lieu of flowers, please donate to your choice of Military/Veterans organizations or Best Friend’s Animal Society ( .

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Ralph Hassell, please visit our Heartfelt Sympathies Store.

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