Ralph Harry Gissal, 85 of Land O’ Lakes, Florida passed away on Tuesday, May 16, 2023.
Ralph was born on Saturday, August 14, 1937, in Highland, Illinois, to Ralph Emil and Dorothy Louisa (Head) Gissal.
Ralph graduated from Alton High School in 1955 and worked at his father’s hardware store, Gissal’s Hardware, during that time. Upon graduating high school, he enlisted in the U.S. Army Reserves (Battery A, 470th Field Artillery Battalion), where he served from 1956 to 1963. While serving, Ralph was presented with the Sharpshooter Award. Then, he attended and completed business classes at Shurtleff College while in the reserves, preceded by his career at Metropolitan Life. Afterward, he had an 18-year career with The Hershey Chocolate Company followed by 18 years with Lykes Pasco, Canadian Division, where he retired in 2002.
In 1958, Ralph met Jackie Tonsor and they were married in 1960. Ralph and Jackie went on to have four children, Terri Gissal, Toni Swoboda (Jack), Brenda Gissal and John Gissal (Chrissy McDaniel); four grandchildren, Ryan Markley, Cody Swoboda (Brittany), Leanne Markley (Kyle Southwick), Kyle Swoboda (Amy McClure); and two great-grandsons, Gavin and Elias Swoboda.
Ralph was predeceased by his parents, Ralph and Dorothy Gissal, and his sister Alyce Edwards.
Ralph was first and foremost a family man. He loved his family. He was a lifelong member of the Shriners, Masons, and the Ford Mustang Club.
A celebration of life will be held later. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to Diabetes Research Institute or any charity of their choice.