Francis Ralph Saternow Jr. had a credo that he followed throughout his 94 blessed years on Earth family and faith first.
And until passing away Wednesday night after a short illness, he followed that belief as a caring husband, father, grandfather and great-grandfather.
Ralph lived in Hermitage, for 65 years with his beloved wife, Fern, until her death last May. They sacrificed much in their years together so their six children would all grow into successful, caring adults.
And in his sickness the past month and hospital stay, they responded with the same love that he showed by helping care for him as much as possible.
Born Feb. 21, 1923, to Francis R. Sr. and Katharyne Quinn Saternow, he graduated from Sharon High School in 1941. He joined the U.S. Navy after the country joined World War II and served on an LST, landing at Normandy during the height of the conflict.
After the war, he returned to work at Westinghouse Electric Corp. for a short time, before joining The Sharon Herald as an advertising salesman. He attended Youngstown College (now Youngstown State University) and earned a bachelor's degree.
He married Martha Fern Brant in 1947 and they lived in Sharon for a few years before moving to Hickory Township. They celebrated their 70th wedding anniversary shortly before her death.
Ralph and Fern were among the founding members of the then-developing Notre Dame Church in Hermitage and participated in adult religious education groups, retreats, and small faith-sharing group.
He also served as a member of the Hickory Volunteer Fire Department for many years.
Throughout their life, they enjoyed dancing at many venues and took ballroom dancing lessons. They often made trips to Idora Park Ballroom, Youngstown, to share that joy.
He was a former Buhl Club duckpin champion and took up golf in his later years, enjoying an occasional round with friends.
He also enjoyed sailing in his Buccaneer craft at Pymatuning Lake and was a member of the Shenango Valley Boat Club for many years and served as an officer.
Ralph retired from The Herald in 1988, where he was an advertising salesman, assistant ad director and one of the early developers of co-op advertising. He also wrote ads for various stores and the fledgling Hickory Plaza when it was established.
He was a big believer in education and took pride that all of his children earned college degrees, including four who earned master's and one a doctorate. He was an avid reader of at least two newspapers a day. While he also followed the news on television, he enjoyed old movies.
He followed his children's activities religiously. Surviving are three sons - Lynn (LaVon), Farrell; Paul (Pauline) and Ralph Edward, both of Port Lucie, Fla. and three daughters Kathy (Chris) Higgins, Sharon; Edie (Kelly) Bruckart, Franklin; and Dr. Marty Saternow-Gadola, Hudson, Ohio.
Also surviving are grandchildren Bob, Alex, Joel, Jeremiah, Aaron, Melissa and Greggory, as well as great-grandchildren Garrett, Lexi, Julia, Kara and Rachel.
A son, Patrick, died in 1953.
The family requests that any memorials (no flowers please) take the form of donations to Crossroad Group Homes and Services, 1243 Roemer Blvd., Farrell, PA 16121.
Francis Ralph Jr., 94, of Hermitage.
Calling hours: None.
Service: Funeral Mass at 11 a.m. Monday at Notre Dame Church, Hermitage, with the V. Rev. Richard J. Allen, pastor, presiding.
Burial: St. Mary's Cemetery.
Arrangements by JOHN FLYNN FUNERAL HOME AND CREMATORY INC., 2630 E. State St., Hermitage.
Published on January 5, 2018