Ralph Garafola, born December 9, 1929, and passed away on April 4, 2019, formerly of Warren Township, Brooklyn, NY, and University Park, FL. was an artist, educator, author, husband, and father. He passed away at Tidewell Hospice, Lakewood Ranch, FL after a three year battle with cancer at 89 years of age with his wife, Carolann, and family by his side. He was raised in Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn, became an NJ resident in 1962 and subsequently came to Florida in 2002, then as a full-time resident of Florida in 2019.
Ralph started his career as a draftsman in NYC for Armor Engineering, studied at the Art Students League of NY for over 7 years under Frank J. Reilly, Art Commissioner of NYC. He also served in the US Army in Korea, initially sent to Korea as a combat photographer and then as a Radio Signal Corps draftsman.
Ralph’s work took him to New Jersey, where he opened a studio in Newark and was a very successful Illustrator. He had accounts with over 60 large businesses in New Jersey. He retired from his work as an illustrator in 1990 and took to fine art portrait and landscape painting. He subsequently began to teach in a number of art venues in NJ and FL. and taught until the day he went into the hospital in Florida on March 29, 2019.
Ralph had a love of big game hunting out west and up at the Arctic Circle. He was the past Treasurer of the Warren Blue Ridge Sportsmen Club in Warren, was an avid sailor for over 30 years with his beloved wife, Carolann, and his two dogs, Jib and Spinaker.
Ralph left a legacy behind him as he designed the 9/11 Memorial for Warren Township, donated a portrait of Major General Joseph Warren which hangs in the Warren Courtroom as well as a portrait of Lora Codington, philanthropist to the Warren Library.
In addition, he taught his wife, Carolann, how to paint as well as many of his students in NJ and FL who have all gone on to be very successful in their love of putting paint to canvas. His wife will carry on his legacy through the Ralph Garafola Studio Consultants, LLC to sell his work as he left behind not only oil paintings, watercolors but hundreds of pencil drawings of models from his years at the Art Students League of New York.
Ralph leaves behind his wife of 28 years, Carolann Auriemma-Garafola, his daughter Lorraine Garafola, his sister, Dolores Babbit, his sister-in-law, Valerie Messina and brother-in-law, Dominic Messina as well as other nieces, nephews, cousins and relatives in NJ, NY, CA, NC, and SC. Ralph was predeceased by his son, Billy, his brother, Jimmy and his parents, Willie and Millie Garafola.