CANFIELD — Ronald Anthony D’Alesandro, passed away on Tuesday, Nov. 22, 2022, after a three-year battle with cancer. He passed away on his father’s birthday.
Ron, 81, was the youngest of seven children, born in Youngstown, on Oct. 5, 1941, to the late John and Philomena Mariani D’Alesandro.
He graduated from Woodrow Wilson High School in 1959, and earned his Bachelor of Science degree in business administration in 1963 from Youngstown University. Ron was the first in his family to graduate from college. He was a member of the Alpha Phi Delta fraternity, where he served as vice president and was a proud member of the ROTC program. He worked his way through college, stocking shelves at Loblaws Food Market and taking care of his widowed mother, following the loss of his father when he was only 12 years-old (just before earning his last few badges to become an Eagle Scout). He later attended University of Michigan and Wayne State University, pursuing his MBA.
Upon graduating from college, Ron moved to Detroit, Mich., accepting a position with Ford Motor Company in Dearborn as a cost analyst — but also pursuing his “eye” on the love of his life, Marisa Lepore, who was also from Michigan, but born in Pacentro, Italy. They were eventually married at Assumption Grotto Church in Detroit on Oct, 19, 1963. While in Michigan, he had a renewed interest in his Italian heritage. He was one of the founding members of Club Pacentro of Detroit and became their first president, following in his father’s footsteps; his father had founded The Pacentrani Club of Youngstown, and was their first president in 1947.
After completing the two-year training program with Ford Motor, he went to work for the JL Hudson Company, a large department store in downtown Detroit that showcased three entire floors dedicated to fine furniture. Here is where he found his real passion for retail, the furniture business and interior design. He loved being a part of downtown Detroit’s “bustling business district” and moved rapidly within the company, from assistant buyer to division sales manager, and opening stores in Northland Mall, Pontiac Mall and Franklin Park Mall in Toledo and finally, was the corporate case goods buyer for the company. It was here that Ron and Marisa adopted their first child, Laura, and life was perfect.
In 1970, he felt a need to move his family back to the Youngstown area, to again be of assistance to his widowed mother and now, recently widowed sister. God’s plan… as it was here Ron and Marisa were able to adopt their second child, Kristen. Ron went to work as general manager with Homestead House Furniture in Boardman. In 1975, he and John Scarsella opened one of the very first La-Z-Boy showcase stores in the country. They opened a second location a year later in Niles. In 1977, he became the sole proprietor of the two stores. Using his knowledge of the furniture industry, he expanded the stores from strictly “reclining chair” stores to fully accessorized room settings, and changed the face of what later became two brand-new, free- standing La-Z-Boy Furniture Galleries. Ron prided himself in having some of the most wonderful employees who stayed with him throughout the years. He was good to them, and they were loyal to him. He owned and operated the two stores until he retired in 2013.
Throughout his career, he always had an eye for interior design. He went on to earn his ASID and decorated many homes, businesses and country clubs in the Youngstown area. Ron loved working with the Realtors and with the Parade of Homes and most of all, just helping friends redecorate their homes. He could walk into a room and make it more attractive, just by moving the furniture around, whether you wanted him to or not.
Ron was very devoted to his Catholic faith and was a daily Mass attendee of both St. Charles Parish in Boardman and St. William Parish in Naples, Fla. He was a former member of Tippecanoe Country Club in Canfield and a current member of Club Pelican Bay in Naples, Fla., where he thoroughly enjoyed spending his winters.
Ron loved to read, garden and travel, but his greatest pleasure was spending time with his friends and family, especially his grandchildren, both here and in Naples.
He leaves to cherish his memory, his wife, the former Marisa Lepore; their two daughters, Laura Davenport and Kristen (Tim) O’Shaughnessy; and three grandchildren, Lauren Halloran, Allyson Davenport and Ryan Davenport.
Besides his parents, Ron was preceded in death by his three sisters, Florence (Pat) Roncone, Eileen (Tony) Volpini and Edith (Don) Ranelli; three brothers, Arthur (Violet Peluso), Eugene (Mary Ann Javis) and John (Betty Carney); and many nieces and nephews.
Calling hours will be held from 4 to 8 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 29, 2022, at Higgins-Reardon Funeral Homes, Boardman-Canfield Chapel.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 11 a.m., with calling hours one hour before, from 10 to 11 a.m. Wednesday, Nov. 30, 2022, at St. Charles Borromeo Catholic Church, Boardman.