Ralph Joseph De La Torre Sr. — husband, father, brother, uncle, grandfather, great-grandfather and friend to many — passed away peacefully on Jan. 9, 2023, at home, surrounded by family. He joins parents Jose and Bertha De La Torre; sisters Theresa Kochever and Josephine De La Torre; his wife, Anita De La Torre; and his only son, Ralph De La Torre Jr. He is survived by his grandchildren, Nick (Beverly) De La Torre, and Danielle (Jeremy) Sees, and great-grandchildren Vivienne, Cora, Brantley and Wesley.  

Ralph was born on Aug. 23, 1930, in his hometown of Half Moon Bay. He was a humble and generous man who lived a life full of meaningful acts of love and service. He bravely answered the call to serve his country during the Korean War at the age of 19. Ralph was an active parishioner at Our Lady of the Pillar in Half Moon Bay where he proudly served as a eucharistic minister until his health restricted him from doing the work he loved. 

Ralph began work at the age of 7 in the pea fields of Half Moon Bay, eventually working for the Alves family until he was drafted. When he returned from war he began his dedicated 30-year career as an operator in the operating engineers. In 2016, when his years of working were surpassed by his years of retirement, Ralph began celebrating this unique milestone each year, ultimately ending with 37 years of retirement versus 30 years of working.   

Anyone who knew Ralph enjoyed his humorous nature. But his sense of humor could come as a surprise. However, once he warmed to you, he had a lifetime supply of practical jokes and witty one-liners that could leave you blushing. 

If you were fortunate enough to engage in conversation with Ralph, he would have most likely mentioned being a Spanish Town Don, which led him to meet President Richard Nixon as well as appear on "The Ed Sullivan Show." 

Ralph will be remembered for his dedication to family and friends, his religious devotion, his service to country, and hard work ethic. Ralph's lifelong, selfless dedication to his family, friends and community returned to him the unexpected yet dearly appreciated gift of devoted care, which helped him in his time of need. A companionship lost, once again fulfilled. The security that he gave was returned. The compassion that he showed was given back.

This is the legacy Ralph leaves behind and he will be greatly missed. 

Friends were invited to attend a visitation from 4 to 8 p.m. with a Rosary at 7 p.m.) on Tuesday, Jan. 17, 2023, at the Miller-Dutra Chapel, 645 Kelly Ave., Half Moon Bay. 

The Funeral Mass will be celebrated at 11 a.m. Wednesday, Jan. 18, (with a viewing at church one hour prior to Mass). Interment with military honors will follow at Skylawn Memorial Park, after which a reception will be held in the church Bell Building at 565 Kelly Ave., Half Moon Bay.

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