Ralph Cuomo

Ralph J. Cuomo

Saturday, September 6th, 1930 - Sunday, March 14th, 2021
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Captain Ralph John Cuomo, US Navy

Ralph John Cuomo, age 90, died peacefully on Sunday, March 14, 2021, at Calvary
Hospice in Brooklyn, New York. He was born September 6, 1930, in New York, New
York, to John Ralph and Marie (Citarella) Cuomo. Growing up on a farm in Hillsdale,
New Jersey, Ralph was a Boy Scout who seemed to embrace the high moral standards
of their oath and motto at an early age. He truly spent his whole life honoring God and
country, staying physically strong, mentally awake, and morally straight, and was
remarkably and consistently loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful,
thrifty, brave, clean and reverent in every area and season of his life.
Ralph graduated in 1947 with honors from Park Ridge High School in Park Ridge, New
Jersey where he lettered in baseball and basketball. Turning down a baseball
scholarship to Dartmouth College, Ralph chose instead to continue to work on the
books for his family’s business and enrolled in Bergen County Junior College in
Teaneck, New Jersey taking night classes until he received his diploma in 1949. Ralph
then graduated again with honors in 1951 from Iona College in New Rochelle, New
York with a Bachelor’s in Business Administration where he made such a good
impression during his internship with Haskins and Sells that they hired and retained
him in their employ for over a decade. Ralph would soon begin to intertwine careers in
both the areas of finance and the military for the rest of his life.
Ralph was then accepted into the Graduate School of Business at New York University.
While concluding his Master’s of Business Administration, Ralph enlisted in the United
States Navy and completed Officer’s Candidate School in Bayonne, N.J. in 1953 and
was stationed at Stanford University in Palo Alto, California serving as an ensign during
the Korean War. The timing was so compressed that Ralph’s father John had to hand
deliver Ralph’s Master’s thesis to NYU faculty for him because he had already reported
for active duty. Haskins and Sells held Ralph’s position with them the entire time Ralph
was on active duty in the Navy and, upon returning, he was commended by his boss
as the only man had ever seen return from military service having earned a CPA license
and three years of government contract auditing experience. On an evening Circle Line
cruise for sailors, soldiers and nurses, Ralph met and fell in love with his bride to be.
On July 17, 1954 he married nurse Catherine Dolores Farrell. In 1955 Ralph was
licensed as a Certified Public Accountant. Ralph continued to serve in the United
States Navy Supply Corps Reserves and rose in rank to Captain and remained in active
duty, and served as a member of the United States Naval Supply Corps Foundation as
well, until his death. Ralph’s beloved wife Catherine predeceased him on December 20,
2014. He was proud to establish a scholarship in his wife’s name for the benefit of
military spouses’ academic advancement (see link below for USSC scholarship
Ralph lived most of his married life in Brooklyn, New York. In 1965 Ralph joined the
Hearst Corporation and advanced to the position of treasurer and controller of the
company and its Foundation and remained in their employ as a consultant until his
death. Ralph’s tireless diligence, brilliant, conservative yet visionary acumen in
finances, exceptional leadership, and humble personability allowed him to wisely
establish and prosper Hearst’s Employee Pension Plan and Foundation for decades,
serving families and worthy causes touching every imaginable area of human endeavor
and need. In his role with the Hearst Foundation Ralph was proud to oversee the
Senate Youth Program where he chaperoned qualifying High School students in a
week-long intensive immersion experience in civil government where he was privileged
to interact personally with Senators and every sitting President from Richard Nixon to
Barack Obama.
As an accomplished chess player, Ralph won numerous awards including the Kings
County Championship. He was an active member of Our Lady of Angels Roman
Catholic Church, serving on their Parish Council as well as coaching boys’ basketball
and establishing girls’ and boys’ swim teams by procuring the use of the Armory pool
in Sunset Park. Ralph loved ballroom dancing with his dear Catherine - especially in
their Bay Ridge living room - and dominating the father-daughter dance competitions in
his four daughters’ high schools. Ralph was a member of the Community/Officer’s Club
at Fort Hamilton Army base where he was active in the ecumenical chapel services
serving in the areas of church finance and adult Christian education. Whether enjoying
fireworks on the waterfront, hosting family celebrations in the club restaurant, shopping
in the PX, watching war films with fellow veterans, or enjoying bowling and burgers, the
library or the museum with his grandchildren, Ralph and his family were known and
loved in this “home away from home”. Ralph also loved bridge, golf, hunting and
A friend of the family, borrowing from Walt Whitman’s “O Captain! My Captain” wrote
this couplet to honor Ralph John Cuomo,
“O Captain! My Captain! Rise up and hear the bells;
For you have run your race and you have run it well!”
Immediate family members who remain to honor Ralph and celebrate his life are
Ralph’s sister, Joanna Scott Meyers; his children Dolores (spouse Richard) Germano,
Kathleen (spouse Marcin) Ficenes, Laura Ann Cuomo, and Theresa (spouse Stephen)
Smith; his grandchildren Lindsay (spouse Clinton) Mountfort, Blanche Smith, Silas
Smith, and Isaac Smith; and a great-grandson Jonathan Mountfort. Due to current
COVID-19 restrictions, a small private internment was held at Holy Rood Cemetery
in Westbury, N.Y. where he was buried alongside his beloved wife. A Memorial Mass
and other memorial celebrations will be planned for the future.

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Service Details

  • Service

    Holy Rood Cemetery
    111 Old Country Rd
    WESTBURY, NY 11590
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email
  • Interment

    Holy Rood Cemetery
    111 Old Country Rd
    WESTBURY, NY 11590
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email

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Private Condolence

Roger Dickinson

Posted at 09:59pm
Our condolences to the Cuomo family .... we cherish the memory of growing up together in Brooklyn w the Cuomo girls and Aunt Cathy and Uncle Ralph. Our Dad was our hero, but Uncle Ralph epitomized the values so important to him ....... Family, hard work, integrity and responsibility. Remember his taking us to basketball games, coming to watch our baseball games, teaching us to play chess, taking us to the commissary, and most importantly the family visits. It touched our hearts that we were able to reconnect with him in recent years..... the time he took Broose to see the amazing Hearst art collection, got Roger Perry and Anita a special tour of Fort Hamilton, and the dinner at McDonalds on the way to the Hamptons ....

We are thinking of you and keeping y’all in our hopes and prayers and may there be some solace knowing that Uncle Ralph is together again with Aunt Cathy.

Love the Dickinson Boys

Alia Nasr

Posted at 06:40pm
Dearest Ralph,
You were a Father, Brother, and once in a lifetime best friend to me. How much I would have loved to have seen you one last time. I wish everybody was as lucky as I am to have been your next door neighbor for so many years. A few weeks ago I spoke to you over the phone and with all your pain, you told me that you are fine and that Kathleen is taking good care of you. Today and with a broken heart, I want to ask you to say hello to Cathy for me. Love you forever. May your Memory be Eternal and may your Soul rest in Eternal Peace.
Much Love,
Alia Nasr & Family

Theresa Cuomo Smith Posted at 01:36pm

A marvelous tribute from an extraordinary neighbor.

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