Editorial: Goodbye to a friend
Posted on Jan 29, 2014 - 01:14 PM Printer Friendly View
A pillar of the community is gone.
In his 35 years in Mathews County, Ralph Valdrighi left a legacy that will live on for many years. He embodied what it meant to be a friend and neighbor. The owner of the Seabreeze Restaurant on Gwynn’s Island, Ralph will be fondly remembered by the county’s volunteer firefighters who, after spending all night battling a blaze, would return to the station to find food and drinks waiting for them, all thanks to Ralph. That was just one example of his generosity.
A founding member of the Mathews Youth Center (which later became the Mathews Boys & Girls Club), Ralph also supported the county’s youth by giving them jobs at his restaurant. They received much more than a paycheck; they got a life lesson from a mentor and a start on their lives as adults.
His passing last week saddens us, but we are heartened in the hope that some of those young men and women he mentored will step up to fill the void in the years to come, sharing their generosity and civic spirit with the community that Ralph loved so much.