Fallen NC firefighter to be honored with processional, memorial service

No. 7 Township Fire Department Firefighter Ralph DeBlassi was involved in a fatal car wreck while responding to a motor vehicle accident

Duty Death: Christopher G. Yock - [San Francisco, California]

End of Service: 06/08/2021


Tina Adkins
Sun Journal, New Bern, N.C.

NEW BERN, N.C. — Ralph DeBlasi of New Bern, a volunteer firefighter with No. 7 Township Fire Department, passed away while enroute to a motor vehicle accident on Thursday, June 10, 2021.

The one-car accident occurred on Brices Creek Road and DeBlasi succumbed to his injuries.

His memorial service is planned for 10 a.m. Saturday, June 19, at Cotten Funeral Home. The burial will follow in Greenleaf Memorial Park.

With so many people wanting to pay their respect and who want to honor and support DeBlasi's family and his memory, No. 7 Township Fire and Rescue's Assistant Chief Travis Blalock said if it looks like they will exceed the capacity at Cotten's, the backup location will be Grover C. Fields Middle School.

The tentative plan for the procession is to take Neuse Boulevard to MLK and travel south on MLK to Greenleaf Cemetery Road.

"While the procession continues to Greenleaf the truck with Firefighter DeBlasi's ashes will break away from the procession to transfer his ashes to the NCTA Cassion Unit, said Blalock. "The Cassion Unit will bring Firefighter DeBlasi's ashes to the pavilion in the cemetery for the Last Call Service", he said.

Blalock added that there is a team from the N.C. Fallen Firefighters Association is scheduled to travel to New Bern and will meet with local law enforcement about the procession. If there are any changes to the tentative route, No. 7 Township Fire and Rescue will release that information to the public via their Facebook page.

DeBlasi retired as a mechanical supervisor from the Stamford Fire Department in Stamford, Conn. after 32 years of service. He moved to New Bern in 2017 and it was not long after that he started volunteering with No. 7 Township Fire and Rescue.

He enjoyed riding motorcycles and was a collector of fire and motorcycle memorabilia.

According to his obituary on Cotten Funeral Home's website, he was a self-proclaimed "Jack of All Trades," helping many of his friends fix and build various things.

"He loved serving people", said Linda Drabeck, a relative of the family. "He made a lot of friends down here and was always willing to help people, he was a great guy" she said.

DeBlasi and his wife, Gina who survives him, have been married for 32 years. They have two sons, Michael DeBlasi and his wife Sharayah and David DeBlasi. He has two siblings, Nicolas and Angela and her husband Tony.

The family is asking that in lieu of flowers, consider making a donation in Ralph's honor to No. 7 Township Fire Department, 1705 Old Cherry Point Road, New Bern, NC 28560.

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(c)2021 the Sun Journal (New Bern, N.C.)

McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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