In Rememberance of Ralph Lomma
Ralph LommaScranton, PA March 13, 1924 ~ September 12, 2011 Date of Service: September 17, 2011
Ralph Lomma, 87, Scranton businessman and entrepreneur, died Monday at VNA Hospice of Community Medical Center after a brief illness. His widow is the former Joyce Jean Hydeck. The couple had been married 37 years.
Born March 13, 1924 in Scranton, Pennsylvania, son of the late Anthony Lomma and Jennie Valentine Lomma, he attended Scranton Technical School and the University of Scranton, where he studied architecture.
As a young man, Ralph served his country during World War II. He was a pilot in the Army Air Force, and flew reconnaissance missions in the South Pacific. After surviving an attack by the Japanese, his injuries from shrapnel entitled him to the Purple Heart. He also received numerous medals for his service.
After the war, he and his brother Alphonse – dubbed “the Fathers of Miniature Golf” – were responsible for pioneering the game across America through their design, manufacture, and sale of prefabricated miniature golf courses. The Lomma courses – consisting of greens and fairways, as well as the popular windmills, castles, loop-the-loops and clown faces – became classic icons of American amusement and leisure.
With his entrepreneurial spirit, Ralph designed and developed several outstanding facilities in Northeast Pennsylvania: Elk Mountain Ski Resort, Uniondale; Village of Four Seasons Resort, Uniondale; and the former Scranton Athletic Club, Scranton. He has been an owner and developer of major prime housing developments including Oakwood Park, Laflin, Pennsylvania; Woodlands, Jermyn, Pennsylvania; Elmbrook and Crestwood Developments, Moscow, Pennsylvania; and Heathrow, Orlando, Florida. He also consulted on the design and construction of Camelback Ski Center, Pocono Mountain.
Ralph was active in the entertainment business, sitting on the boards of both Allied Artists Motion Pictures, Hollywood, California and American Film Productions, Beverly Hills, California. He also locally nurtured the growth of Jason Miller's Scranton Public Theatre.
Ralph was active in politics and, in his Scranton home, held the second fundraiser for Ronald Reagan's first Presidential Campaign. He was appointed to the United States Coast Guard Commission by President Ronald Reagan and served on the United States Senatorial Bureau Advisor Board, Washington, District of Columbia.
Throughout his life, Ralph remained committed to the hometown he loved through service on many boards, including: Allied Services Foundation, Broadway Theatre of Northeastern Pennsylvania, First National Bank of Jermyn, Greater Scranton Chamber of Commerce, Guthrie Medical Center, Keystone College President's Advisory Board, Marywood University, Northeastern Pennsylvania Philharmonic, Pennsylvania Film Festival, Scranton Tomorrow, The Public Broadcasting Center WVIA TV 44, and United Nations' Association.
In addition, he has been selected by the William Penn Foundation as “A Distinguished Pennsylvanian.”
Ralph's greatest accomplishment, however, was as a loving husband, father, grandfather and friend who touched and helped the lives of many.
The family would like to express its deepest thanks and appreciation to the VNA Hospice at Community Medical Center for the kind and compassionate care they showed to Ralph and his family during his final days.
Also surviving are his son, Atty. Jonathan Lomma, his daughter-in-law Atty. Shea Scanlon Lomma, his grandson, Henry Lomma, New York City, and his godson and business partner Atty. Anthony C. Lomma, Scranton, as well as his many nieces and nephews whom he loved dearly.
He was preceded in death by all of his siblings: brothers John, Patrick and Alphonse, and sisters Catherine Grippi and Marie Calisto.
The funeral will be Saturday from the Carlucci-Golden-DeSantis Funeral Home, 318 E. Drinker St., Dunmore, with Mass of Christian Burial at 10 a.m. in Immaculate Conception Church, Taylor Avenue and E. Gibson Street, Scranton. Internment, Cathedral Cemetery, Scranton.
Friends may call in the funeral home Friday evening from 4-8 p.m.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Allied Services, 475 Morgan Highway, Scranton, Pennsylvania, 18501, or a charity of your choice.