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Sunday, June 26, 2022

Saint Paul businessman and veteran Ralph Nardini dies at 93

Ralph Nardini (right) attends the 2017 Ramsey County Fair with his wife Lenore (center) and Dan Pilla Sr. (left). (Courtesy of Ron Suter)

St. Paul businessman Ralph Nardini died on June 6 at the age of 93 at his home in Shoreview.

“Ralph was a friend to everyone,” said Joe Fox, who served with Nardini on the Board of the Ramsey County Fair. “He was a warm person and had no problem making strangers feel comfortable.”

Nardini was born in Saint Paul in 1929. He grew up playing hockey and working at the Nardini family restaurant. After graduating from Johnson High School, he joined the US Army and served as a cook during the Korean War.

Back in St. Paul, he founded Nardini Fire Equipment, which he ran for 50 years and grew into one of the largest fire equipment companies in Minnesota. In his spare time, Nardini was an avid golfer at the North Oaks Golf Club.

As an active member of his hometown, Nardini has held various positions on the Ramsey County Fairs Board. He also volunteered with St. Paul Midway Lions, Roseville Central Park Foundation, Suburban Chamber of Commerce, St. Paul’s Club, and St. Paul’s Winter Carnival.

“Every day he would go into the County Fair office and see what he could do to help,” Fox said. “He had his own business, but we joked that he was my ‘gopher’ and he ran around doing whatever needed to be done.”

Nardini is survived by his wife Lenore; sister Irene Klatt; children, Tom and Gay; adopted children, Terry Termblay, Tony, Tim and Tina Payton; and grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

World Nation News Desk
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