ASHTABULA — Raffaele “Ralph” Giancola, age 72, of Ashtabula, passed away unexpectedly Thursday, Jan. 17, 2013, at Ashtabula County Medical Center.
The son of Alfonso and Ida (Izzi) Giancola, he was born on Dec. 7, 1940, in Cerro al Volturno, Italy. Ralph came to the United States in 1965 from Italy and had been an area resident ever since. He was a longtime Parishioner of the St. Joseph Mission and was a member of the Sons of Italy Lodge 1169.
Ralph worked very hard and dedicated himself in order to make a better life for his family, employees and those who surrounded him. He was known for his generosity and compassion for others. Aside from spending time with his family, he enjoyed hunting, fishing and making his homemade wine for all to enjoy.
Prior to 1984, Ralph worked for Rockwell International. When Rockwell closed and left the city of Ashtabula, he decided to open his own plastics manufacturing company and he named it GMR Technology. The single company including the large acquisition of Zehrco-Giancola Composites in 2003, has grown over the last 29 years into multiple operations in Ashtabula, Portage and Tuscarawas Counties in Ohio, serving various industries worldwide. The family-owned business has grown tremendously and now employs over 200 people.
Among one of Ralph’s many achievements, was when he was presented the George H. Kaull Award for Entrepreneurship at the Ashtabula County Ohio Growth Partnership – Best of the County Awards Dinner on Sept. 16, 2008.
In addition to his success and major accomplishments in his business life, Ralph’s proudest moments and achievements came from his relationships with his family and friends.
Ralph is survived by his wife of over 50 years, Rita (DeCola) Giancola; son, Tony (Gina) Giancola; grandchildren, Ida, Giulia and Raffaele Giancola; sisters, Miranda (Domenico) Centracchio and Fernanda (Giulio) Mazzocco.
He was preceded in death by his parents; and his daughter, Ida Giancola who passed away at age 11.