St. Paul Businessman and Veteran Ralph Nardini Dies at 93

Ralph Nardini, a businessman from St. Paul, passed away on June 6 in his Shoreview home at the age of 93.

Joe Fox, who together with Nardini served on the Ramsey County Fair Board, said of Ralph, “Ralph was a friend to everyone.” He was a kind guy to be around and was good at making others feel at ease.

In 1929, Nardini was born in St. Paul. He grew up working at the Nardini Family Restaurant and playing hockey. He enlisted in the Army after Johnson High School and served in the Korean War as a cook.

He established Nardini Fire Apparatus back in St. Paul, which he operated for 50 years and grew into one of Minnesota’s biggest fire equipment businesses. Nardini enjoyed playing golf at the North Oaks Golf Club in his spare time.

Nardini participated actively in his community and held a number of roles on the board of the Ramsey County Fair. Additionally, he volunteered with the Roseville Central Park Foundation, the Suburban Chamber of Commerce, the St. Paul Club, and the St. Paul Winter Carnival. He also worked with the St. Paul Midway Lions.

Every day, he would visit the County Fair office to see what he could do to assist, according to Fox. We used to jokingly refer to him as my gofer because he would rush around doing whatever that needed to be done even though he had his own business.

His wife Lenore, sister Irene Klatt, kids Tom and Gay, stepkids Terri Termblay, Tony, Tim, and Tina Payton, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren all survive Nardini.

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