Ralph S. Nicotera Jr. of 5538 Sandy Lane will be the guest of honor at a 90th birthday celebration Saturday, Jan. 20, at Roma Lodge, hosted by his children. Family and friends will join him for dinner and a lot of reminiscing spanning a life centered on family, sports and great friends.
Nicotera was born on Jan. 17, 1928, in Racine, the fourth of five children of Ralph and Gabriella Nicotera.
On July 16,1949, he married his childhood sweetheart Margaret Bonazza at Sacred Heart Catholic Church, where he is still a member. She died on March 5, 2012.
Nicotera served in the U.S. Army and received a World War II Victory Medal and Army of Occupation Medal, Japan. He was discharged in 1947.
Nicotera retired from Modine Manufacturing Co. after a 25-year career in sales and sales management. He held previous positions with Walker Manufacturing Co. and Massey-Ferguson.
Nicotera is a past president and treasurer of Roma Lodge where he is still an active member. He was treasurer of Sacred Heart Catholic Church for many years, working closely with the Rev. Klaus in building the current school and church.
In addition to his lifelong love for the Chicago Cubs and Green Bay Packers, Nicotera himself was an exceptional athlete, playing basketball for Horlick High School and other Racine city leagues, and softball with Modine and DeMark’s Bar. His passion was golf and he played in numerous Racine Tri-Course events, and was a longtime member of Meadowbrook Country Club and Johnson Park. Nicotera has recorded two holes in one at Meadowbrook.
He has three children: Ralph (Diane) of Fort Mills, S.C., and Janet (John) Tyllo and Cindy (John) Pisanello of Racine. Nicotera has eight grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren.