WATERBURY — Ralph A. Grandpre, 72, passed away peacefully on Tuesday, Sept. 10, 2019 at St. Mary’s Hospital VITAS Innovative Care Unit.
Ralph was born Nov. 26, 1946 in Waterbury, son of Gustave J. (Chris) and Blanche E. (Cretella) Grandpre. He lived most of his life in Waterbury and a short time in Thomaston. He attended local schools, graduated from Blessed Sacrament School, Crosby High School and received a bachelor’s degree in financial management from Quinnipiac College. He was a partner in Westbury Motorsports with Chuck Sabis in Watertown, and worked for several auto dealerships in sales and management positions. He was used vehicle sales manager at Chase Parkway Volvo Subaru for 23 years until it was sold in 2013. After that he worked on an “on call” basis for various dealers until 2018.
Ralph enjoyed going to NASCAR races in New Hampshire, Delaware, Pennsylvania and Florida. He attended the night race in Bristol, Tenn., and the inaugural races at Las Vegas, Texas and Homestead-Miami. He enjoyed classic muscle cars, especially Mustangs and 66-67 Fairlanes. He looked forward to the time he would spend at the Bethany Beach, Del., home of his lifelong friend George Butler, his wife, Dr. Marta Schneider and their family.
He was a life member of the Knights of Columbus, having joined Atlantic Council 18 in Thomaston in 1981. He became a 4th degree member the following year. He was a past grand knight of Council 18 and a past faithful navigator of Bishop O’Reilly Assembly 4th degree in Waterbury and also of Armor Dei Assembly in Wolcott, as well as a district marshal for the 4th degree. He was a district deputy for the K of C from 1988-1992, and he started Council 10865 in Waterbury. He served the Connecticut State Council in various capacities, including hospitality, ceremonials, membership, points program chairman and was co-chairman of the Host Town Program for the Waterbury area when the Special Olympics World Games came to Connecticut. He was a member of all three Third Degree Teams and captain of the Rev. Donald Barry Team and captain of the Council 18 First Degree Team. He attended many K of C Supreme conventions in the U.S. and Canada. He was a delegate to many of these and served on committees.
In 2005, Ralph was elected to the State Council as warden and then elected to every position, including state deputy, where he served from 2011-2013. While he was state deputy the State Council received awards for New Council development and Squires membership. In 2017, he was the honoree for the K of C State Convention and was also honored by the Columbiettes for his support of their organization and its programs, especially the Campership program for those with intellectual disabilities.
Ralph is survived by an extended family that includes many cousins, several friends and godchildren.
Visitation will be held on Saturday, Sept. 21, 2019 from 8:30 to 10 a.m. at Blessed Sacrament Church, 182 Robbins St., Waterbury. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 10 a.m. following the visitation. Burial will follow in Mount Olivet Cemetery, Platt Road, Watertown. The Naugatuck Valley Memorial/Fitzgerald-Zembruski Funeral Home, 240 North Main St., Naugatuck, is assisting the family with arrangements.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Columbiettes Campership Fund, 80 Knoll St., Waterbury, CT 06705.
To send an online condolence, visit www.naugatuckvalleymemorial.com.