Ralph J. “RJ” Barra III, 51, of Lake Road, Union City, Pa., died on Wednesday, December 26, 2012, at Corry Memorial Hospital.
He was born on December 31, 1960, in Washington D.C., a son of Ralph J. and Margaret E. Posa Barra Jr., of New Oxford, Pa.
Ralph was raised and educated in Baltimore, Md., and later moved to Washington, Pa., where he graduated from high school in 1979. He attended Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, Pa., and then served with the U.S. Army from October 1984 to October 1986. After his discharge, RJ worked for an advertising firm in Pittsburgh for a few years and then attended and graduated in 1990 from Thiel College in Greenville, Pa. with a Bachelor of Arts degree in history. He then worked for Barra International and later for Cedar Wood Farms in New Oxford, Pa. Ralph had been working for the past four years as a substitute teacher.
He was a member of St. Thomas the Apostle Roman Catholic Church and the Corry Elks Lodge 769 and was a co-founder and president for 10 years of Classtique Cruisers. RJ had driven race cars in several classes, including Sprints and Three-quarter Midgets. He enjoyed building model cars, riding motorcycles, classic cars and camping.
In addition to his parents, Ralph is survived by his wife, Susan E. Ransel Barra, whom he married on October 13, 1990, in Sigel, Pa.; a sister, Marisa Barra of Maryland; two brothers, Michael Barra and his wife, Karen, of Georgia and John Barra and his wife, Connie, of Hershey, Pa.; his mother-in-law, Betty Ransel of Sigel, Pa.; and a sister-in-law, Kathi Ransel, of Sigel, Pa. Nine nieces and one nephew also survive.
Family and friends are invited to call at the Bracken Funeral Home, 315 N. Center St., Corry, Pa., on Friday from 5 to 8 p.m., with a parish Scripture service to be held at 7:45 p.m. Additional visitation will be held on Saturday at St. Thomas the Apostle Roman Catholic Church, 203 W. Washington St., Corry, Pa., from 10 a.m. until the time of the Mass of Christian Burial there at 11 a.m.
Burial will be in St. Thomas Cemetery, Corry, Pa.
Memorials may be made to your local veterans’ organizations; WQLN TV 54, 8425 Peach St., Erie, PA 16509; or to a charity of one’s choice.