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Ralph R. DeRosa, 69, of Williamsburg played his final golf round and passed away unexpectedly on Sunday, Aug. 3, 2014.
A devoted husband, father and friend to everyone who shared his company, he is survived by Michele, his wife of almost 39 years; sons Hammel Louis "Ham" DeRosa of Los Angeles and John Nicholas "Nick" DeRosa of Richmond; sisters Carol Lambiotte and Diana MacPherson (Mike), brother-in-law John Morello (Tami); nephews Mike MacPherson, Joe MacPherson, Paul Lambiotte and Tony Morello; and nieces Lexi and Alaina Morello. He will be deeply missed by his family, numerous close friends and co-workers.
Ralph's course through life took him on a varied journey, as he used his time and talents facing many challenges. Born in New York and raised in Staunton, he served his country as a member of the U.S. Air Force before beginning a steady march to numerous career successes. A graduate of Christopher Newport University, he earned an MBA from Golden Gate University. He worked in banking, as a stocks and commodities broker, and in real estate as a sales manager and developer.
He was more than just a land developer; he brought communities to life. He had a keen eye for what it took to make a development an attractive place that families would want to call home. The list of places he helped bring to life is a roll call of some of the most well-known community developments in the region--Ford's Colony, Wintergreen, Albemarle Plantation (in North Carolina), Stonehouse, Governor's Land at Two Rivers, which he helped to start, and Fawn Lake, where he worked for 13 years. He was most recently the general manager and senior vice president of NTS Virginia. He was a broker with the Fredericksburg Area Association of Realtors and President of the Williamsburg Association of Realtors.
But Ralph will always be remembered best for his outgoing and playful personality, for his laugh and for the way he put his family at the center of everything in his life. On occasions too numerous to count, he opened his arms, heart and home to his extended family and the many close friends he always treated as family.
The family will receive guests from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 7, at Nelsen Funeral Home and Crematory, 3785 Strawberry Plains Road, Williamsburg. A service in celebration of Ralph's life will be held at 10 a.m. Friday, Aug, 8, at Williamsburg Community Chapel, where he was a member. A reception will follow the service.
Memorial contributions may be made to Orphan Helpers, 813 Forrest Drive, Newport News, VA 23606; to the Fredericksburg Area Food Bank, 3631 Lee Hill Drive, Fredericksburg, VA 22408; or to Williamsburg Community Chapel Agape, 3899 John Tyler Highway, Williamsburg, VA 23185.
Online condolences may be offered at nelsencares.com.