He lived, he laughed, he loved, he died.
That was the extent of what Ralph wanted his obit to say, I did as he asked, but I just might add a little more. He was born and raised in the San Fernando Valley in California and was a blue-eyed, red-headed Italian. He became a Nevadan when he started school at UNLV and was in the second graduating class in what was then called the Hospitality Industry. Soon after he moved with his family to Carson City and in 1972 accepted a job as Bell Captain at the Ormsby House. He held that position until he and his wife Linda opened Marrone’s Restaurant in 1986. When they sold Marrone’s they bought a smaller café in Mound House, Somethin’s Cookin. During those 20 years they catered their share of celebrations, parties, weddings and fundraisers. Ralph was a good cook and made his last 5 gallons of spaghetti sauce, “Ralph’s Own” right before Christmas. Ralph’s smoked ribs in the barrel, a 55-gallon drum, were legendary. He was very proud of winning 2nd place in a national contest, Outdoor Cooking Adventures with American Lamb, at 80 years of age. He was a Master Gardener and had a green thumb. His love of football and the game led him to finish his bucket list of going to see every NFL team play in their home stadium, starting with the LA Rams in 1954 and his last game in Las Vegas at Allegiant Stadium in December of 2023. He took his grandsons with him to many of these games and they repaid that favor by taking him to his last FB game in LV. He would bet the parlay card with his football buddy and longtime friend of 50 years, Clark Russell. They bet $5 a game and whoever was behind got to pick Monday night and it was always double or nothing. He had a smile that lit up the room and a wry sense of humor. He loved life and it was good to him.
“You only live once but if you work it right, once is enough.”
He is survived by his wife and partner of 50 years, Linda, and two children Randy and Christie. He was preceded in death by two of his children, Les, Anna and grandson Johnathan. He leaves behind grandchildren Wes, Breana and Brad Coons, Miranda, James and Heather Marrone, Rory Torvik, Elliot King, great-grandchildren Lincoln, Faith, Quinton, Finn Coons and Anakin, daughter-in-law, Janet Marrone, his niece Kathy Felker and his dog Rocky.
A small family gathering will be held in the spring and of course a Hayes Canyon spreading of the ashes. Plant a bulb or a seed, watch it grow, throw back a cold one, bet on your favorite team, root for the underdog. Ralph always did.