Ralph Stassi Jr. honored at city meeting, Chris Stassi appointed to position

Staff Report

The late Selectman Ralph Stassi Jr. was honored by Mayor Edwin “Ed” Reeves, Jr. and the Plaquemine Board of Selectmen at its meeting Sept. 8. Stassi died Aug. 19, while still serving as the District III board member, a position he has held for the past 19 and a half years (almost 5 terms).

The Stassi family with a plaque given in honor of Raplh Stassi Jr., who died AUg. 19.

During the meeting, the Board presented a plaque to his wife, Chris, and to his family for his service. The plaque reads, “Presented in grateful memory for his 19 and a half years of distinguished service on the City of Plaquemine Board of Selectmen (January, 2001-August, 2020). Ralph was beloved by his constituents, respected for his understanding of government, and steadfast in his commitment to see Plaquemine and its residents prosper. His leadership and guidance will be missed.”

The Board voted unanimously at the meeting to install his wife, Chris Stassi, to complete his present term, which expires Dec. 31.

Sheriff Brett Stassi, Ralph’s son, told Selectmen, “My Dad loved and defended the City Council’s decisions, and he bragged that the City employees were the best of the best. He was a career public servant who always cared about people - he had real feeling for the less fortunate people of the parish. He loved serving on the Council and cared about our city and parish.”

Ralph Stassi was a life-long resident of Plaquemine and public service was the main theme of much of his life. He served 19 years in law enforcement, retiring as Chief Criminal Deputy of the Iberville Parish Sheriff’s Office. He also served on the Iberville Parish Police Jury and the La. Board of Pardons and Parole.

But he was probably most known for his love of people and willingness to help local residents and organizations. His most recent accomplishment for his district was the establishment of the Fort Area Park, which includes a playground, basketball court, restroom building and landscaping. A walking trail and other improvements are planned at the park for next year.

“I considered Mr. Ralph one of my best friends on the Board,” Mayor Reeves noted, “He always had my back and was a wonderful Selectman for District 3. He always had the best interest of his constituents on his mind. He was a colorful character that held a wealth of knowledge on city and parish government.”

Reeves noted that even when visiting Stassi while he was sick that Stassi was most concerned for his constituents. “He always asked us to take of the people he represented. I will miss him greatly.”

One of his longest friends on the Board is the retired Selectman Mickey Rivet, who said their friendship started when they were about 23 years old. “One of my most pleasant experiences was working with Ralph. I recall that he always wanted to know who people were, who they were related to and such. He loved that. Even when I voted against him on the Board, it didn’t phase him or our friendship a bit. He understood his constituents and was a friend to them. He was a big park supporter, and always wanted to help.”

The Board of Selectmen voted unanimously to install Chris Stassi to complete her late husband's present term, which expires Dec. 31.

Board member Oscar Mellion noted that he and Stassi served a long time together. “We had our differences, but in the end, we managed to do what was best for the people. He contributed a lot to his district, and brought forth things that had never been brought up before. He will be missed,” he said.

Board member Lin Rivet commented, “Working with Ralph was always a pleasure. He was always about family first. He loved serving the City of Plaquemine and always had his heart for what was best to make this City a great place for families and a place to visit. He never met a stranger any place we went. We could be in Washington or Texas attending a conference and he knew someone there. He was our best storyteller on every trip. He will be greatly missed, not only by his family, but by my family also. May his family find peace knowing the joy he brought to others.”

Selectman Timmy Martinez said, “Ralph was like family to us. He was old school and I enjoyed talking with him. I appreciated his experience with government – he knew how to get things done, and his advice meant everything to me.”

Selectman Jimmie Randle commented that Stassi had done a good job of serving his district on the Board.

Ralph and Chris Stassi were the owners of A Professional Bail Bonds, and Ralph was an avid horseman and cowboy. He is survived by his wife of 32 years, Chris Patin Stassi; children, Brett Stassi, Sr. (Caroline), Suzanne Stassi Fraser (Scott), Scott Stassi (Sandi), Nico Migliacio (Mandi), Haley Migliacio Cain (Jason), Monty Migliacio (Casey), Mario Migliacio (Lea), and Julien Stassi (Kaitlyn); grandchildren, Brett Michael Jr., Anne Marie, Annette, Sarah, John, Claire, Nicholas, Madelyne, Kennedy and Reid; great grandchildren, Christopher, Evelyn, Sophia, Ajax, Gwendolyn and Egan; sister, Loretta Stassi Keller; brother, Glynn Stassi (Jackie).