Ralph Derango Jr.

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Ralph John Derango Jr., 81, of Swansea, IL, died Tuesday, April 23, 2019, from complications related to heart surgery, at Missouri Baptist Medical Center, St. Louis, MO.

He was born on August 12, 1937 in LaSalle, IL.  After graduating from LaSalle-Peru High School in 1955, he attended LaSalle Peru Junior College and the University of Illinois.  He graduated at the top of his class from John Marshall Law School in Chicago in 1961.

Shortly thereafter, he began practicing law in Belleville and continued practicing part-time up until his death.  He fought hard for his clients and never hesitated to help anyone who needed legal advice.  In addition to his law practice, he worked briefly as an Assistant State’s Attorney and an Assistant Public Defender.  He served for many years as school board attorney for Belleville Township District #201, O’Fallon District #203, Central District #104, Pontiac-William Holliday District #105, and High Mount District #116.

In his leisure, Ralph greatly enjoyed swimming and relaxing poolside in the summer sun. He looked forward to his 40-year tradition of annual trips to Las Vegas with his brother Marius and long-time friends. He relished his time courting Lady Luck at Lumiere Casino with his good friend Dennis Watkins. More than anything, he treasured the time spent with his grandchildren, and took great delight in attending their school events, athletic endeavors and performances.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Ralph and Lena, nee Ruggerio, Derango, and his brother, Marion Derango.

He leaves behind his loving wife of 57 years, Karen, nee Peterson, Derango;
his son, Drs. Ralph John (Rosanne) Derango III of Bartlett, IL;
his daughter, Kathy (Matthew) Kulig of Millstadt, IL;
grandchildren, Madeline and Caroline Derango and Melanie, Kelly, and Sean Kulig;
his brother, Marius (Sharon) Derango of Peru, IL;
and numerous nieces and nephews.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital or to the Shriner’s Hospital for Children.  Condolences may be expressed to the family online at www.rennerfh.com.

Visitation:  Friends may visit the family from 4 to 8 p.m. Friday, April 26, 2019, and from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Saturday, April 27, 2019, at George Renner & Sons Funeral Home, Belleville, IL.

Funeral:  Funeral procession will leave at 12:30 p.m. Saturday, April 27, 2019, from George Renner & Sons Funeral Home, Belleville, IL, for a 1 p.m. Mass of Christian Burial at St. Augustine of Canterbury Catholic Church, Belleville, IL, with Msgr. William McGhee officiating.

Private family burial will be at a later date.


3 Comments on Ralph Derango Jr.

Buddy and Margaret DeRango said : Guest Report Apr 25, 2019 at 6:00 PM

Karen, RJ, Kathy, Marius, and families: Please accept our deepest condolences. May God light your way and give you comfort and peace. Sonny was more like a brother to me than a cousin and we shared so many good times over the years. Sonny, rest in peace with our Lord in heaven. 'Til we meet again...

  • San Diego
  • CA
Deborah Purviance said : Guest Report Apr 25, 2019 at 5:40 PM

Kathy and family, so sorry to read of your father's death. We always liked his easy going manner and his love of your kids. Hope your memories stay precious and comfort you. Deb Purviance, Kevin and Corey Kaufhold

  • Belleville
  • Illinois
Hans (John) & Janet Baumann said : Guest Report Apr 25, 2019 at 3:27 PM

Words are difficult to put in place at a time like this. Ralph, Karen, RJ and Kathy were our neighbors, friends, and our children grew up together. Ralph, was easy to talk to - reassuring and level-headed. Ralph will be missed - and while his voice will no longer heard, nor his face seen, they live on in our thoughts and memories. Ralph leaves this life better for his having been here. While many now mourn his passing - his life touched much and many, and live on. Our sincere and heartfelt to Ralph's family and loved ones.

  • Swansea
  • IL

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