Ralph Joseph Leahy

November 15, 1927 - March 14, 2024

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  • | 2:16 p.m. March 29, 2024
  • Ormond Beach Observer
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     Ralph Joseph Leahy, 96, of Ormond Beach, FL, passed away on Thursday, March 14, 2024. He went peacefully, surrounded by those who loved him.

     The youngest of 4 sons, Ralph was born on November 15, 1927, in Washington, DC, to loving parents, James and Mary. Having been raised in a very patriotic home, a young and eager 15 year old Ralph was certified by Roosevelt’s US Citizens Defense Corps as a Messenger. In 1945, as soon as he was of legal age, Ralph joined the US Navy and served most honorably, until his discharge in 1954. 

     At 16, while still in high school, Ralph went on to join his father at Washington Gas & Light Company, becoming the third generation of Leahy to work there. While serving his time in the Navy during WWII, Ralph also joined the company full time, starting as a Helper in Gas Support. Seeing the great potential that Ralph possessed, Washington Gas encouraged Ralph to obtain his degree and promoted him as an engineer to Manager of the Operations and Maintenance Department. He was a loyal and valued member of Washington Gas for 43 years, until he retired to take care of his loving wife, Pat, during her time of need. 

     When Ralph and Pat met, it was love at first sight. They were married in 1951, and they lived a wonderful life together in Rockville, MD, until she passed away in 1993. 

     Ralph lived life to the fullest. He loved good jazz, especially Kay Starr and Ella Fitzgerald, and good whiskey, Jack Daniels Single Barrel being his favorite. He was a lifetime member of the American Legion and donated to veteran charities regularly. Ralph was an avid sports fan and was a life-long Washington Redskins and University of Maryland supporter, keeping season tickets for decades. Later in life, he learned to enjoy NASCAR, as well, and traveled to the tracks in Daytona and Talladega for fun. He enjoyed collecting owls, dogs and military items, and loved to gift special things to all he cared about. Ralph and his companion Anna cruised all over from Alaska to the Caribbean, and on his 85th birthday, Ralph went skydiving for the first time. Even with all of his accomplishments and hobbies, Ralph’s biggest enjoyment came from friends, family and fellowship. He was generous to a fault and gave without wanting any recognition. He was a devout Catholic  and supported his church and numerous charities faithfully. His amazing blue eyes, quick wit and generous heart will be remembered always. 

     Ralph is preceded in death by his parents, James Henry Leahy & Mary Stefonia Gassenschmidt Leahy; Brothers, Bernard James, James Henry & Robert Earle Leahy; Beloved wife, Audrey Patricia Leahy; Cousin, Sister Francis Gassenschmidt; and Partner, Anna Maria Gooding. He is survived by nieces, Patricia Whitmer (children Ben, Mary and David Erdelyi), Gail Dagenhart, Patricia Hall & Linda Cook; Nephews, James Michael Leahy (son Conor) & Daniel Leahy & wife Rose (children Jesse, Gina & Stephanie); Great nephew, John Michael Spicer & wife Elizabeth; Great niece, Laila Maureen Partridge & husband Chad (children Caden & Sophia); Companion & friend, Marian Byrnes; and Good friend, AJ. 

     Services will be held on Friday, May 3, 2024 at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Rockville, MD at 10:30am, followed by a visitation with the family at Francis Collins Funeral Home in Silver Spring, MD from 2-4:00pm. Ralph’s funeral will follow on Saturday, May 4, 2024 at Gate of Heaven Cemetery in Silver Spring, MD at 11:30am. In lieu of flowers, Ralph’s family has asked for donations to be made to the Wounded Warriors Project, Tunnels to Towers, Alzheimer’s Foundation of America or any charitable foundation close to your heart. Ralph, until we meet again, Be safe, Behave and Take care of yourself.


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