Ralph S. de Rosa, a financial consultant and college professor, died Tuesday in his home after a lengthy illness. He was 86.
Born in Brooklyn, he earned a bachelor's degree from St. John's University, Queens, and a master's degree from Seton Hall University, South Orange, N.J.
He started working as a chartered life underwriter and chartered financial consultant for New York Life Insurance in 1954. He was elected to New York Life's Agents Advisory Council and was a member of the industry's Million Dollar Round Table. He represented the company in Niagara Falls for more than 49 years.
Mr. de Rosa also worked as an associate professor of English at Gannon College, Erie, Pa., and as an associate professor of English and Latin at Niagara University.
Mr. de Rosa served as a lector and a Eucharistic minister at Prince of Peace Catholic Church and was a member of the Holy Name Society. He also was selected to serve on the Buffalo Diocesan Pastoral Council under Bishop Edward Head.
He was a dedicated member of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul for more than 65 years and a charter member and longtime president of the Prince of Peace Conference of the society.
Mr. de Rosa served several terms as president of the Western Niagara District and as treasurer of the Northeastern Region of the society and was instrumental in bringing the regional conference to this city.
A Niagara Falls resident since 1946, he was well known as an enthusiastic booster of his adopted city.
Mr. de Rosa was active in community affairs, receiving many awards for his service. He served for many years on the board of directors of the Niagara Falls Boys Club and was a director and president of the United Cerebral Palsy Association of Niagara County.
He was a longtime member of the Knights of Columbus.
Mr. de Rosa was a committee member of Boy Scout Troop 849 and was an institutional representative for more than two decades. He camped, hiked and canoed with the troop on numerous wilderness trips in New York and Ontario.
Surviving are his wife of 59 years, the former Sarah M. Sanpasquale; four daughters, Linda de Rosa Boehman of Frederick, Md.; Marie de Rosa Wolcott and Sarah, both of Niagara Falls, and Rosemary of Lewiston; three sons, Peter and Stephen, both of Niagara Falls, and the Rev. Francis of Alexandria, Va.; and 18 grandchildren.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered at 11 a.m. Saturday in Prince of Peace Church, 1055 N. Military Road, after prayers at 10:15 in Lane Funeral Home, 8622 Buffalo Ave. Burial will be in Gate of Heaven Cemetery, Lewiston.