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(January 24, 2009: It is with a heavy heart that we report Ralph has passed away.)

Ralph Arias       July 12, 1937 - Jan. 20, 2009

An amazing man! Born to Ralph and Anita Arias on July 12, 1937, Ralph's life had many dimensions. He was a highly skilled sheet metal worker, loving his trade, loving to teach those that really wanted to learn. Ralph was a master mechanic with mechanical ability of the highest caliber. Hot rods, especially his 1932 Fordor and roadster, were not only phenomenal mechanically but true works of art. Ralph loved to race cars in the '50s and got great pleasure in not only building his Fordor for racing but later building for show. He designed and fabricated many of the parts in his own garage, loving the creative process. Later in 2000, he built his 32 Ford hiboy, a roadster he had always dreamed of building. Ralph also loved bowling, and, as with everything else he did, mastered that as well. Ralph bowled several 300 games and loved the intense competition.

Ralph's dreams became realities because of his strong determination, hard work and love for what he was doing. He was so courageous and strong, a loving, caring, honest yet modest man. His friends and family knew him to be a master storyteller. Ralph loved being Papa and was so proud of his granddaughters. He relished the time he spent with them, especially going to the flea market to scout for swans for their collection.

He is survived by his wife, Diane, son Tim Arias, daughter Monica Arias, sister and brother-in-law Rita and Jack Drinkard, brother-in-law and sister-in-law Steve and Theresa Giganti, and granddaughters Kira, Kiana, and Sarah. He is also survived by nieces Cherie Smith, Virginia and Grace Giganti, nephews, David Baker and David Giganti and great-nephews Chase and Chad Smith. He was preceded in death by his parents, grandparents, Uncle Frank Sandona, Aunt Eda Sandona, and Aunt June Sandona. Ralph died at home in Bonny Doon on January 20, 2009. Diane, his wife of 49 years, will love him and cherish his memory forever. He will always be at her side.

Visitation services will be Sunday, January 25, 2009, from 3:00-6:00 p.m. at Pacific Gardens Chapel, 1050 Cayuga Street, Santa Cruz. Funeral services will be on Monday, January 26, 2009, at 11:00 a.m. at Holy Cross Catholic Church, 126 High Street, Santa Cruz. Burial will be at Alta Mesa Cemetery immediately following. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Salvation Army, 721 Laurel Street, Santa Cruz, CA 95060 or to Faith Community Church, 1729 Seabright Ave. Ste F, Santa Cruz, CA 95062.

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