William Peter Ranftl, 75, made his mother walk through a snow storm to be born in Cleveland, Ohio on December 26, 1944. He was cheated out of many birthday presents due to the timing of Christmas. He returned to the Lord on October 18, 2020 while holding his daughter’s hand.
Affectionately known as “Big Bill”, he was the tallest, biggest man in the room with a contagious laugh and smile to match. He had big gentle hands, a sweet heart (and tooth), unless you made him mad. He would be the first to blame his temperament on German heritage. He grew up on Library Ave on Cleveland’s West Side, moved to Hinckley as a teenager and graduated from Highland in 1963 where he played football. Afterwards, he attended Bowling Green for a year but left to become an Operating Engineer like his father and brother. He was a member of Local 18 District 1 and sat on their executive board for many years. He was a volunteer police officer and worked a second job in security at the Richfield Coliseum where he met many interesting characters and witnessed more concerts and cavs games than most of us see in a lifetime. He owned a dog show business called Paws ‘n Tails and raised Chesapeake Bay Retrievers. He is survived by his Chessie, Riley.
Raised Catholic, his faith strengthened with age. He joined the Knights of Columbus and loved his parish, Prince of Peace and beloved Pastor, Father Bob. He was a strong believer in praying the rosary daily even into his final day.
He enjoyed ice fishing, woodworking, gardening, history, traveling to Amish country, historical sites, shrines & churches and was a gifted baker like his grandma Karcher.
He is preceded in death by his parents, Julia and Russell Ranftl, his brother Rusty and his beloved wife of 50 years, Dianne. His pride and joy was his family with whom he was protective and generous. He leaves behind his daughter Patricia Ranftl and granddaughter, Violet. Being “Grandpa” was his favorite job. He spent 11 years caring for and making her giggle. He had many new and life long friends, the best neighbors and large extended family including many adored cousins. All, well almost all, will miss his presence despite being a pain in the buttoosky and giving everyone a hard time. He had a great sense of humor. We hope this obituary makes him laugh in heaven. He loved this time of year as it was Dianne’s birthday and All Saints Day, making it auspicious his funeral will be held on All Hallows’ Eve.
Calling Hours will be held on Saturday October 31, 2020 from 9:30-10:30 a.m. at the SILVA-HOSTETLER FUNERAL HOME, 1199 Wooster Rd. West, Barberton. Mass of Christian Burial to follow at 11 A.M. at Prince of Peace Catholic Church, 1263 Shannon Ave., Norton. Interment at St. Francis Xavier Cemetery in Medina. To share a memory or send a condolence, please visit www.silva-hostetler.com (330-825-8700)
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