Ralph A. Paparella, 101, of Wampanoag Trail in East Providence, peacefully passed away on November 24, 2019. He was the beloved husband of the late Eleanor (Verdi) Paparella and the brother of the late Albert Paparella and Frances (Paparella) Pagano.
Born in Providence, on June 28, 1918, he was a son of the late Leone and Carolina (Danella) Paparella. His parents came to America from Italy as children.
He was an honors graduate of East Providence High School where he was an all-star athlete in three sports. Ralph received his undergraduate degree from Providence College, his Master’s Degree from Rhode Island College and his post Master’s Degree from the University of Connecticut.
During World War II, Mr. Paparella served in the United States Army-Air-Corps. Following WWII he was very active in veteran affairs including District State Commander of Veterans of Foreign Wars and National Officer of Italian American War Veterans.
Mr. Paparella was employed as a Physical Education teacher in the East Providence School System from 1945 to 1979 and taught students at all school levels. He was a well liked creative teacher who tailored his education program to meet the needs of all students. After retirement it was not unusual for his former students to recognize him in public and praise their educational experience with him. At age 100 he was honored for being the oldest living Providence College basketball player.
He leaves one daughter, Carolyn A. (Paparella) Rabidoux and her husband Raymond of Lincoln, one son, Leon R. Paparella of Washington, D.C., one grandson, Raymond H. Rabidoux, Jr, one granddaughter, Rebecca A. Rabidoux and four great granddaughters, Skyler, Sydney, Sabrina and Zoe Rabidoux and many adored and loved nieces and nephews.
His funeral will be held on Tuesday, December 3, 2019 at 10:00 AM from the PERRY-McSTAY FUNERAL HOME, 2555 Pawtucket Avenue, East Providence with a Mass of Christian Burial at 11:00 AM in Our Lady of Loreto Church, Waterman Avenue, East Providence. Burial with Military Honors will be in the Rhode Island Veterans Memorial Cemetery. Calling hours are Monday December 2nd from 4:00 – 7:00pm.