MONTVILLE, NJ - Parsippany resident Ralph Amato died of Coronavirus on March 23. He was 91.

Amato was a corporal in the United States Army during the Korean War, according to Commander Kenneth Hanzl of Montville’s Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 5481, where Amato was a member. Amato was in an Artillery Regiment. He received the Korean Service Medal with the Bronze Service Star, the United Nations Service Medal and the National Defense Service Medal, Hanzl said.

“He was a very dedicated and proud member of our post,” Hanzl said. “Using his lifetime of experience in finance, he was a valued member of our Finance Committee. Ralph single-handedly ran our VFW Eagle Scout programs – his two grandsons were Eagle Scouts. He also participated in school programs and was at Cedar Hill Elementary School this past Veterans Day. Ralph was also a member of our 50th Anniversary Committee. There wasn't an activity that Ralph wouldn't volunteer for as our post did things for fellow veterans.  Post 5481 will miss Ralph and his enthusiasm.  I count myself lucky to have known Ralph and I will miss him.”

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According to his obituary, Amato was the husband to the late Ann, to whom he was marrried for 67 years. He had three children: Robert, Karen, and Diane.

He was the beloved husband of the late Ann A. Amato with whom he shared 67 years of marriag

His granddaughter Jen Wadeyka appeared on the Anderson Cooper 360° show on CNN March 26 to talk about their family’s ordeal, especially since her mother now has the virus and cannot attend the funeral.

“He was an amazing human being and a loving grandfather,” Wadeyka told Cooper. “He was an independent and healthy 91-year-old. He was a Korean War veteran who was proud to have served his country. He was extremely active in Montville’s VFW Post 5481. Most importantly, he just enjoyed being with his family.”

Cooper asked Wadeyka what her message was to worried families, and she told him, “You think it can’t happen to you, and I’m telling you that it can. Never in a million years did I think this virus would affect my family in the way that it has. If I could have folks take away three things from watching tonight, the first is stay home. By staying home, you are keeping your family, your friends, and your community safe. The second is: encourage others to stay home. The last is, by staying home, you are saving someone else’s life. The next time you walk out the door, think about that.”

Wadeyka said her grandfather died alone in the hospital because of the quarantining conditions and her father and mother will have to separately videochat the funeral because of her mother’s illness and her father’s exposure to the virus.

See the interview here: (You do not need a Twitter account to view it)

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