Ralph Joseph Smith

Ralph Joseph Smith

Ralph J. Smith, 80, peacefully passed away on June 21, 2024, at his home in Brownsville, Texas, surrounded by his devoted wife Virginia, cherished family, and beloved angel cat.

Born in Boston, Massachusetts to Mary Welz and Ralph Smith, Ralph, affectionately known as “Butch,” moved to New Jersey in 1945. He attended Lakewood High School and later served in the Navy. Ralph dedicated many years to Fluid Chemical as a Line Supervisor and Mechanical Operator before relocating to Thousand Oaks and Upland, California. There, he served as Plant Manager at Vege-Kurl for 25 years until his retirement in 2008, when he settled in Brownsville, Texas.

Ralph had a passion for classic muscle cars, movies, music, and his extensive family. His favorite holiday was Christmas, which he celebrated with unparalleled enthusiasm, transforming his home into a dazzling Christmas Wonderland that drew visitors from near and far. Known for his generosity, Ralph regularly donated blood, recognizing its critical importance. A patriot through and through, he amassed a notable collection of American flags. Ralph was mechanically gifted and relished working with machines, cars, and gadgets, mastering every challenge he encountered.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Mary Welz of Jackson, NJ, and Ralph G. Smith of Lakewood, NJ.

Ralph is survived by his devoted wife of 30 years, Virginia, of Brownsville, TX, and his sister, Donna, and her husband Conrad Wittenburg of Forked River, NJ. He is also survived by his children: Anna Dunne of Toms River, NJ; Kathryn and husband Ralph Santos of Beachwood, NJ; Michele and husband Daniel Kappock of Forked River, NJ; Christina and husband Richard Quiles of Beachwood, NJ; Jennifer and husband Anthony Auletta of New Egypt, NJ; Rhonda Smith of Galloway, NJ; Anthony “TJ” and wife Patricia Smith of Brownsville, TX; Brandee Smith of Prineville, OR; Cynthia and husband Vincent Norris of Santa Barbara, CA; and David Rodriguez of Brownsville, TX. Ralph was a proud grandfather to 22 grandchildren, 13 great-grandchildren, and 4 great-great-grandchildren, as well as an uncle to numerous nieces and nephews. He also leaves behind his caring angel caregivers and a wide circle of extended family and friends who will dearly miss him.

Ralph’s legacy of love, generosity, and ingenuity will be cherished by all who knew him.

A celebration of life service will be held from 3:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. on Monday, June 24, 2024 with a prayer service at 6:00 p.m. at Sunset Memorial Funeral Home. Services conclude at the end of the evening.
Final funeral services will continue in New Jersey.

Services are under the guidance of Sunset Memorial Funeral Home, Crematory & Flower Shop. 657 Springmart Blvd., Brownsville, Texas. (956) 350-8485

To send flowers or a plant to the family in the memory of Mr. Ralph Joseph Smith, please visit Shalom Sympathy Florals at Sunset Memorial, place your order online at https://shalomflorals.com/shop or call (956) 572-3872.


  • Rhonda Smith Posted June 23, 2024 7:21 am

    You will be so missed
    I love you Dad

  • Yolanda Tijerina Posted June 24, 2024 12:17 pm

    You are in our thoughts. We are so sorry for your loss. You are in our heart.
    The Tijerina family Yolanda, Alexander, Dede, Roman, and Sofia.

  • Patty Velasquez Posted June 24, 2024 1:31 pm

    Aunt Ginger and Family

    There are no words to express how sorry I am for Uncle Ralph’s passing. I know he means so much to each of you. My hope is that you will forever cherish all the good times in your hearts.

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