Ralph Pierini, 71, died Monday, May 13, 2013, from lung cancer in the care of Rainbow Hospice of Ark in Chicago, Ill.
He was born on March 12, 1942, in Chicago to Carmella (Stramaglio) Abern and the late Frank Pierini. Carmella and Paul Abern moved from Chicago to Glasgow in 1949 where Ralph was raised, worked on various farms, and attended grade school and high school.
Two weeks before he graduated from high school in 1960, he joined the army and was station in the Panama Canal zone. Following his discharge, he returned to Chicago where he started a career as a teamster working as an intercity truck driver.
He enjoyed hunting and made several trips back to Glasgow during hunting season, bringing along a few of his uncles and cousins to hunt deer and antelope.
He married the love of his life, Mary Jane Lagioia, on Oct. 28, 1978. He then adopted Mary Jane's only son, Johnny J. Pierini. Mary Jane and Ralph were happily married until her passing in August of 2011. Ralph retired in 2006 to stay home and care for his wife, who had adrenal cancer for five years.
He was proceeded in death by his wife, Mary Jane Pierini, and is father, Frank Pierini.
Survivors include one son, Johnny J. Pierini of Chicago; his mother, Carmella Abern; his stepfather, Paul C. Abern of Glasgow; one sister, Carol Ann “Dolly” Hopstad of Kennewick, Wash.; two nephews, Donald C. Hopstad and James A. Hopstad; two great-nephews; one great-great-nephew; two great-nieces; two great-great nieces, all of Kennewick; one very special niece, Nikki Kotlarz; a sister-in-law, Rose Barbara (Lagioia) Kotlarz of Chicago; and many special uncles, aunts and cousins, all of Chicago.
Mass was held at Saint Pascal Church, followed by interment at the Queen of Heaven Cemetery in Chicago.
In lieu of flowers, donations are suggested to go to the American Cancer Society, 708-343-6161.