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Ralph A. Mankowsky
February 27, 1931 ~ December 26, 2023 (age 92) 92 Years Old
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Ralph A. Mankowsky, 92, Turners Falls, MA passed away Tuesday December 26, 2023 while on hospice at CareOne in Northampton, MA.
Ralph was a "one of a kind" passionate man who was quick to crack a joke or smile and was always willing to help his family, friends, and neighbors. He always greeted those around him with the polish greeting "jak sie masz," a smile, and a laugh. He had an uncanny ability to make newcomers feel welcome and to put a smile on the face of anyone in his company. Memories of Ralph will forever be cherished by his family and friends.
Born in Northfield, MA, the eighth of ten children to John A. and Valerie (Sobocienski) Mankowsky , Ralph grew up on a large dairy farm doing chores like milking cows, collecting eggs from the chicken coop and weeding the family garden. He attended Northfield public schools and Mount Hermon School where he was a talented baseball player covering third base and short stop. He then attended and worked at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst. He worked at Fernald Hall in the Entomology Department in the UMASS Extension Service identifying various insects for people all over the state until he retired in the mid 1990's.
Ralph married Joyce M. LaRoche, the love of his life, whom he met at a train station while picking up his sister Janet (deceased). They were both attending Mercy School of Nursing in Springfield. He loved his wife of 67 years, four children, seven grandchildren, and seven great grandchildren more than anything. He could often be found cheering in the stands of his grandsons' baseball and football games. He loved singing Christmas carols as well as playing the accordion with his younger brother Johnny with family members around the piano. Ralph was a devoted member of Our Lady of Peace Parish and sang in the choir. He loved youth sports, New England sports teams (Red Sox, Celtics, Patriots), camping with his family and friends, picnics at the ocean in summer and in the mountains in winter, hunting, golfing, skiing, and hiking, and family domino games.
One year he shot a 12-point buck, the heaviest deer in MA that year while hunting with his brother Leon (deceased). The buck was quickly mounted and still hangs in the family home. In his later years Ralph took up golf and joined the Thomas Memorial Golf Course and participated in several local golf leagues. As a neighbor of the eighth tee at Thomas Memorial Golf Course he would drive his golf cart from his home to the golf course. He could regularly be found driving his grandkids to feed the ducks, pick blackberries, and look at the fish and bullfrogs at the "duck pond."
He leaves his wife Joyce M. of Turners Falls, four children: Marilyn (Mankowsky) Freedman (James) of Westwood, MA, James R. Mankowsky (Denise) of Erving, MA, Jane Mankowsky of Westwood, MA, and Maureen (Mankowsky) Barisano (Donald) of Greenfield, MA, seven grandchildren: Sarah Mailloux (Nick) of Erving, MA, Matthew S. Freedman (Sara) of Roswell, GA, Alexander F. Barisano (Brittany) of Greenfield, MA, Jeremy J. Mankowsky (Emma) of Quincy, MA, Andrew S. Barisano (Jackie) of Northampton, MA, Alexandra J. Freedman of Westwood, MA, Trevor J. Mankowsky of Erving, MA, and seven great grandchildren: Carmen, Cassidy, Teddy, Leo, Jack, Ava, and Hayden. Ralph also leaves his brother John Mankowsky of West Springfield, MA.
Visitation will be Tuesday January 2, 2023 from 9 to 9:45 AM at Kostanski Funeral Home 1 Kostanski Square followed by a Liturgy of Christian Burial at 10 AM at Our Lady of Peace Church with Rev. Stanley Aksamit pastor officiating. Burial will follow in St. Anne’s Cemetery.
Memorial contributions may be made to Our Lady of Peace Church, 90 Seventh St., Turners Falls, MA 01376.
For condolences, please visit www.kostanskifuneralhome.com