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“My mother Inez Gatte grew up with "ralphie" . Their mothers were best of friends. She was talking about them today when we found two old photos. I...Read More »
1 of 5 | Posted by: Beth zangus for Inez Gatte - PA

“My dad was a man who loved deeply with a tender heart. I know that ability to love will continue to shine through me, my sisters, MaryLou and those...Read More »
2 of 5 | Posted by: Michele Hessman - Los Angeles, CA

“Mary Lou, Jeri, Jackie, Michelle and family - our sincerest condolences on the passing of Ralph. He was truly a wonderful man and you all have very...Read More »
3 of 5 | Posted by: Timothy Devin - Arlington, VA

“A true gentleman in every sense of the word. He made a difference in my life and for that I will always be thankful. ”
4 of 5 | Posted by: Brooke Allen - Arlington, VA

“Mary Lou: We are so sorry on Ralph's passing. He was a good friend and we have many fond memories over the years. Our prayers and thoughts are...Read More »
5 of 5 | Posted by: Butch and Debbie Chinn - Naples, FL


YOUNGSTOWN – Services will be Thursday at 11 a.m. at the Higgins-Reardon Funeral Homes, Boardman-Canfield Chapel, for Ralph D. Hessman, 75, who died Saturday at St. Elizabeth Medical Center in Youngstown. Ralph was born Feb. 27, 1937, in Youngstown, the son of Ralph M. and Louise Wick Hessman. He was a 1954 graduate of East High School, served in the Army during the Korean War and later attended Youngstown State University. He began his long career in law enforcement as an officer with the Youngstown Police Department, and later served with the Mahoning County Sheriff's Department. He then served with Monroe County Sheriff Department in South Florida, where he was also a Florida State Fire Investigator. Upon returning to Youngstown, Ralph again served with the Mahoning County Sheriffs' Department, from which he retired in 1991. He was a member of the F.O.P. Lodge 141 and was a Hall of Fame bowler. Ralph was an avid golfer and fisherman as well. He is survived by his wife, the former Mary Lou Palfi, whom he married April 16, 1994; in addition to three daughters, Jeri Hessman of Arlington, Va., Michele Hessman and her fiance, Stuart Ross of Los Angeles, and Jackie Dohar and her husband, David of Stow. Ralph also leaves four grandchildren, Lucy Allen and D.J., Taylor and Jake Dohar; a sister, Barbara (Donald R.) Evans; a nephew, Michael (Marianne) Evans of Boardman; and a niece, Kristie (Michael) Henneman of Columbus. He was preceded in death by his parents, Louise and Ralph Hessman. The family has requested that material tributes in Ralph's memory take the form of donations to either the American Cancer Society or Hospice of the Valley. Friends may call Wednesday from 4 to 7 p.m. at the Higgins-Reardon Funeral Homes, Boardman-Canfield Chapel.

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