Mr. Ralph J. Burnell, 81, of 60 Bush Road, peacefully passed away Tuesday afternoon, January 22, 2013 at Upstate University Hospital, Syracuse, where he had been a patient since January 13th.
Ralph was born November 19, 1931 in Brasher, the son of the late Thomas and Ruth Mitchell Burnell. He attended school Brasher Iron Works. In 1952, during the Korean War, he was drafted into the US Army; where he served until being honorably discharged in 1954. He married Carmela M. Pellegrino; she predeceased him on February 24, 1992.
Ralph worked for the New York State Department of Transportation for 34 years retiring in 1989 as a maintenance foreman. He was a member of the Massena Moose Lodge #1110 and the American Legion in Winthrop. He was an avid outdoorsman who enjoyed hunting, fishing, trapping, and camping. Ralph also enjoyed watching wrestling and western movies on the television.
He is survived by his two sons, Thomas “Pete” and Sandra Burnell of Brasher and Ralph Jr. and Amy Burnell of Alabama; his stepdaughter, Pamela Burnell of Arizona; four grandchildren, Greg McDowell, Sarah and Daniel Crump, Thomas II and Renee Burnell, and Ariel Burnell; his pride and joy of a great grandson, Dominick Burnell; and a great granddaughter, Aayliah McDowell; his niece, Donna “Pepper” Heath; a great niece, Nikki Heath and her fiancé, Dave Goff; and a great nephew, Ricky Heath.
Ralph was predeceased by his brother, Bernard “Lucky” Burnell on December 21, 2000; and two sisters, Thelma Jackson on February 11, 2003 and Marie Heath on May 4, 2012.
Friends may call at the Donaldson Funeral Home, Massena, Sunday 2-4 and 7-9 p.m. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated Monday 10:00 a.m. at St. Patrick’s Catholic Church, Brasher with Rev. Jack L. Downs, celebrating. Burial will be in St. Patrick’s Cemetery in the spring.
Memorial contributions may be made in his memory to the American Cancer Society or a charity of one’s choice.
Memories and condolences may be made online at www.donaldsonfh.com.