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Ralph Henry Valdrighi

Ralph Henry Valdrighi

MATHEWS—Ralph Henry Valdrighi, 71, of Mathews died peacefully surrounded by his family in a Richmond hospital on Wednesday, January 23.

He is survived by his loving and devoted wife, Mary; his son, Christopher, and his wife, Lisa, of Weems; his son, Jeffrey, and his wife, Tracy, of Cobbs Creek; grandchildren Shawn, Rachel and Hannah Valdrighi; a sister, Anna Deagle, and her husband, Reggie, of Mathews; sister Geny Holtz, and her husband, Richard, of Richmond; a sister-in-law, Betty Pugh, and her husband, Stephen, of Mathews, and numerous nieces and nephews.  His niece and goddaughter, Donna Doherty of Richmond, was a special caregiver and devoted companion for Ralph and Mary.

The son of an Italian immigrant, Ralph was born in Richmond on June 20, 1942, to Stephen and Josephine Valdrighi.  The Benedictine High School cadet won the heart of Mary Jones and the two sweethearts were married on November 17, 1962. They celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary in 2012.

The couple moved to Mathews County in 1979, when Ralph and Mary opened the Seabreeze Restaurant on Gwynn’s Island. They owned the restaurant until November 2013. Known fondly as “Sir” to his Seabreeze employees, Ralph was a second dad and mentor to dozens of young ladies and men who worked at the restaurant.

Prior to opening the Seabreeze, Ralph was vice president of Equipment Sales Inc. in Richmond.

A philanthropist, who was known for his big heart and generosity, he was a lifelong member of the Boys and Girls Club and a founding member and former president of the Mathews County Boys and Girls Club. He also served as a member of the board of directors for the Peninsula Boys and Girls Club and received a lifetime achievement award from the peninsula club in March 2001.

A member of the Mathews County Rotary Club, he was named the Rotarian of the Year in 1998 and had perfect attendance from 1992-1999. He was recognized with the Paul Harris Fellow award, the Rotary’s highest achievement, in March 2001.

He was predeceased by his parents and brother Stephen A. “Sonny” Valdrighi.

The family will receive friends on Sunday, January 26, from 2-4 p.m. and 6-8 p.m. at Foster-Faulkner Funeral Home in Mathews. A mass will be held Monday, January 27, at 2 p.m. at Church of Francis de Sales in Mathews with an interment to follow at Windsor Gardens Cemetery and Mausoleum in Mathews.

Pallbearers are Shawn Valdrighi, Stephen Pugh, Cliff Pugh, Daniel Pugh, James Michael Shaw, Stephen Shaw, Charles Bucker and Ray Spear. Honorary pallbearers are Reginald Deagle, Dickie Hurst and Pat Griffin.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Mathews County Boys and Girls Club, Mathews, VA 23109; the Mathews County Volunteer Rescue Squad, PO Box 723, Mathews, VA 23109 or the Mathews Volunteer Fire Department, PO Box 1130, Mathews, VA 23109. 

posted 01.24.2014

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