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Ralph Peter Guzzo, 93, of Wilson, N.C., beloved husband, father and grandfather, went peacefully to be with the Lord on Monday July 25, 2016, after a long life filled with love and happy memories.
Ralph grew up in Minneapolis, Minn., where he excelled as a scholar-athlete in football and baseball. After high school he served in the U.S. Navy for 20 years as a chief petty officer, and settled in Norfolk, Va., with his wife and family.
As a decorated World War II veteran, he received many medals and honors, including the WWII Victory Medal. His passion for sports continued during his military career, where he enjoyed playing football, baseball and basketball. He also coached baseball and Waves basketball for the U.S. Navy. His title as”Coach” also included the St. Pius Pirate Jr. League, which resulted in city championship baseball and football teams. After he retired from the Navy and coaching, he enjoyed officiating softball, basketball and football and cheering on his favorite teams, which included the New York Yankees and any team coached by his former “bat boy” and son, Tony.
Over the years, Ralph was active in his church, local charitable civic organizations and sports teams. Community involvement included membership in the Sons of Italy Roma Lodge 254, the Ryan Club of Norfolk and the Chesapeake Athletic Club, which celebrate him with the Old Dominion Baseball MVP Award still given annually in his honor.
He was preceded in death by his loving wife, Victoria DeMarco Guzzo of Norfolk, Va.; a grandson, Michael Anthony Woodard of Tuscaloosa, Ala.; and his beloved lhasa apso, Marco Polo.
He is survived by his son, Anthony Guzzo (Kitsy) of Wilson, N.C.; daughter, Cathy Guzzo of Tuscaloosa, Ala.; grandson, Anthony Guzzo (Jessica) of Gloucester, Va.; and granddaughter, Gina Guzzo (Jonathan Lewis) of Tampa, Fla.
The family will receive friends and visitors from 7 to 8 p.m. Thursday, July 28, at H.D. Oliver Funeral Apartments, 1501 Colonial Ave., Norfolk, Va. A funeral mass will be at 1:30 p.m. Friday, July 29, at Sacred Heart Catholic Church, 520 Graydon Ave., Norfolk, Va. Entombment, with full military honors, will follow at 3 p.m. at Rosewood Memorial Gardens Mausoleum on Witchduck Road in Virginia Beach, Va.
Online condolences may be offered to the family through hdoliver.com.