Ralph Giannini ’65, M.A. ’67 spent many childhood days working alongside his brothers in his mother’s Santa Clara restaurant: Lucca’s. He had fond memories of cleaning off plates (sometimes into his mouth) and having his fill of Florence’s cooking while bussing tables and talking with customers. He attended St. Clare’s Elementary School, Bellarmine College Preparatory, and SCU, where he gained a love of poker games, joined a bowling league, and enjoyed late night dinners at his favorite restaurant, Original Joe’s, in downtown San Jose. After gaining a Ph.D. in history at Santa Clara, he became a professor at Florida University, where he met his wife, Tere Allen. They were married at St. Augustine’s in Gainesville, Florida, in 1976 before returning to his previous home in Santa Clara where he owned the Little Professor Bottle Shop. Ralph loved chatting with all his regulars, whether they were senior citizens or college students. He doted on his children, Maria (born in 1977) and David (born in 1979) and occasionally gave them the run of the candy aisle in the store. It truly was a family business, with Tere making sandwiches to sell or running the cash register. He coached many of his kids’ school sports teams at St. Martin of Tours School, running basketball and softball practices with a passionate but caring hand. But a change was coming. He was being drawn back to education. He sold the liquor store and became a substitute teacher in 1988. His children have clear, cringeworthy memories of having their dad as their substitute teacher on many occasions. He started teaching at Silver Creek High School in 1989 and never stopped. His legacy is in each of the student’s lives that he touched there. He mentored countless students, not only through his history courses but by giving of his time on weekends to supervise dances, football games, and every other type of event there was. He became “Coach G.” once again as he helped out with the Silver Creek basketball team. His room was never empty as he plied students with water, popcorn, and life advice of every type. He was also a mentor to teachers, administrators, and other members of the staff—whether it was just stopping by to chat or in his many East Side Teachers Association roles. He was known by his union colleagues as “The Godfather,” a moniker he treasured for his Italian heritage and his love of The Godfather films. He also relished the nickname “WASC Man.” He was known throughout the Eastside High School District for training school leadership accreditation teams. He chaired many WASC teams that aided schools all over the world to gain their accreditation. Trips of note went from local schools to schools as far away as Guam and South Korea. In his free time, Ralph loved donning zebra stripes. He refereed countless basketball games all over the Bay Area and was active in umpiring baseball games with numerous leagues and at differing levels. A highlight was umpiring the 2004 Little League World Series. Ralph was a dedicated parishioner at St. Martin of Tours. He was regularly the lector at 5 p.m. Mass and served on a variety of committees, from school board to finance. On Aug. 27, 2019, Ralph passed away peacefully at the age of 75. He is preceded in death by his mother, Florence Ryan, his father, Peter Giannini, his stepfather, Pat Ryan, and his stepbrother, Tim Ryan. He is survived by his brother, Peter Giannini ’60, his children David Giannini and Maria Carter-Giannini ’00, his nieces and nephews Peter and Gina Giannini, Julie Brooks, and Matt Ryan, and his two granddaughters, Callie and Lucia Carter-Giannini.

21 Oct 2019