Ralph Hirsch touched the lives of thousands of children and adults during his 92 years. He was born in Brooklyn and grew up in Brighton Beach. Ralph attended Lincoln High School and Brooklyn College, excelled in athletics and was the captain of the varsity basketball team. He loved music and played the trumpet, joining the musicians’ union as a teenager to play at weddings and bar mitzvahs. His music career was interrupted when he realized he didn’t like working at night. However, he recognized the importance of music education and later became a generous supporter of children’s music and arts. The Korean War interrupted Ralph’s education. From 1952 to 1953, he served in the Japanese Army Special Forces. After discharge, he went back to school and earned a bachelor’s and master’s degree in health education. After graduation, Ralph embarked on a lifelong career working with children as a teacher, school administrator and camp director. He is the owner and director of summer camps for children, including Camp LoKanda. Ralph married his wife Alan in 1982. Ralph retired in 1989, and he and Allen moved to Scottsdale, Arizona. He fills his free time with tennis, gardening, playing in theater and supporting Arizona’s professional sports teams. He and Allen love to travel and have bought a second home in Marbella, Spain, escaping the Arizona summer heat for 18 years and touring extensively in Europe. They also enjoy cruise life, which allows them to see other parts of the world. Ralph is a great organizer and has great leadership skills. He serves as the president of his homeowners association and leads a number of social groups. His friends remember all the great themed parties he and Allen had with poetry, games, prizes and jokes. Ralph died before his parents Leo and Clara Hirsch and his brother Phil. He is survived by his beloved wife Ellen, daughter Lori (Marc) Zaintz, daughter Suzie Hirsch, grandson Zak Zaintz, granddaughter Anastasia Zaintz, nephew Lee Hirsch, niece Hope Honeyman and many friends who consider Ralph a member of their family. Donations can be made in memory of Ralph to the Sagewood Residents Foundation, which provides college scholarships to employees and their families. The address is Box 5310, 4555 E. Mayo Blvd., Phoenix, AZ 85050.
Published online September 28, 2022
Posted in Arizona Republic