Ralph Carestia, of Florence, CO passed away June 9, 2019 at St. Thomas More Hospital, at the age of 90. A lifelong resident of Fremont County, Ralph had lived at Skyline Ridge Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Cañon City for the past 16 months.
Born in Williamsburg, CO on August 17, 1928, Ralph was the son of Italian immigrants and the fifth of eight children. His work ethic was instilled at an early age when, at age seven, he began working in the coal mine with his dad; early mornings that began at 4 a.m. in the winter season. When his father died ten year later, Ralph was the eldest child at home and he met responsibility head-on to help support his family. He began his business with the purchase of a single axle dump truck in 1947, and would eventually grow Carestia Trucking into an 8-truck company, including a gravel pit, asphalt company, construction crew, and truck and equipment repair shop.
Ralph married Mary Nitchen in 1950, and they were blessed with two children, Ralph “Ralphie” and Karen. They lived in Rockvale, where Ralph was also a volunteer firefighter. They moved to Florence in 1979 and Mary passed away in January, 1980. Ralph married Darlene Gleiforst in December, 1982. He “kept on trucking” until he sold his business in 1995.
Ralph liked to be busy; he enjoyed tinkering in his shop, making or building things and restoring cars, including a 1923 Model T Roadster he bought on the spot when he saw it dead, dented and rusty, parked behind a couple of hay stacks. He also liked hunting and fishing. Ralph was well known in the community; he was a member of the Elks Club, and he and Darlene were crowned as Florence’s Pioneer Day King and Queen in 2009.
Ralph is survived by his wife, Darlene Carestia; his son, Ralph “Ralphie” (Betty)Carestia and his daughter, Karen(Carey) Horton; step-daughters, Karle (Leon) Murray, Patricia Gleiforst, Luanne(Kenny) Lonberger; four granddaughters, Kathryn Hazard, Kelly Franson, Mary Muniga and Kim Smith; three great-grandchildren; and siblings, Tony Carestia, Antoinette Madone and Clara Giuliano.
Ralph was preceded in death by his first wife, Mary Carestia; his sisters Nancy, Marie, Rose and brother, Dominic “Dom.”
Rosary & Vigil Service, 9:30 a.m. Friday June 14, 2019, Funeral Mass, 10:00 a.m., St. Benedict’s Catholic Church in Florence followed by interment at Lakeside Cemetery in Canon City to be followed by a reception in the Parish Center.
Memorial contributions can be made to Florence Fire Department.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Ralph Carestia, please visit our floral store.
Florence Fire Department
300 W Main St, Florence CO 81226