Bernard Moore Ravenna
87, most recently of St. Petersburg, FL, passed peacefully with his family by his side on November 16, 2018. Born in Rutland, VT on November 17, 1930, he was the only child of Geno and Goldie Ravenna. Living a simple life there, Bern developed his love for baseball listening to the Red Sox on the radio and playing any chance he had. Bern lived much of his adult life in Woodbury, NJ. He served his country (US Army), was an executive with DuPont, loved his family and friends, and had a passion for baseball. He is survived by his wife of 58 years, Joan (Fullmer), son Steven (JoAnn) and granddaughter Taylor. He was Grandpa Bern to Miles and Tony (Ali) Morel, Great Grandpop to Milo, and Uncle Bern to nieces and nephews.
Bern was known for using the phrase, “Take two and hit to the right.” A picture of patience - waiting on two pitches, maybe two strikes; of sacrifice - becoming the easy out in order to advance the other runner closer to home; of determination, confidence, teamwork and skill - hitting behind the runner because failing to . . . both are out. Bern to his wife and Bernie to many friends over the years, ended almost every conversation with that phrase expressing his love of baseball, what baseball taught him about how to live his life and the comradery, teamwork and reward of a game played well - win or not.
Bernie determined to play baseball at the University of Vermont. Though refused, he insisted on a walk-on tryout and made the team. He was later Co-Captain and a leading pitcher in the league. A knuckle-baller, with curves, sliders, a screw ball and off-speed pitches - an infielder teammate said of him, “He sure kept us busy. He couldn’t throw heat, but threw junk with a precision few could hit with authority.”
He determined, playing with a chemistry set at 7 years of age, to become a chemist and to work someday for DuPont. Graduating from college he was refused an on-campus interview, but walking beside the recruiter on his way back to his car, he told his story. It got him the job. He loyally served DuPont for 38 years with great pride, going on to head Human Resources and Personnel for DuPont Chemicals, its largest division worldwide.
He determined to marry Joan, though he couldn’t dance the fast ones, to provide for his family and to serve others in need. He has served family, teammates, co-workers and friends providing a voice of wisdom and reason, an encouraging word, taking the lead or becoming the trustee. He was a good coach, who practiced what he taught in action and in word.
But in his patient determination, he lived with a humility that makes his family proud. He greeted all of us with a thumbs up and a smile. Bernie, “You have hit to the right, now take two.”
His Celebration of Life will be held Friday, November 30 at 1:30, Calvary Chapel St Petersburg. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to a charity of your own choosing, Children’s Dream Fund or 100 Shares Tampa Bay in Bern’s memory.