Captain Ralph James Vierling II

April 18, 1941 ~ May 13, 2018 (age 77)

Captain Ralph James Vierling II, retired, born April 18, 1941, passed away peacefully on May 13, 2018, following a long and courageous battle with dementia. Ralph was born, raised, and remained a life-long resident of the Greater Pittsburgh area, with stops in Baldwin, West Mifflin, Mount Lebanon, Upper St. Clair, and Moon Township. Ralph and his family are very proud of his long and distinguished aviation career, which started by gaining his private and commercial licenses flying a multitude of equipment at Allegheny County Airport. Ralph was employed by American Air Surveys, and later joined Beckett Aviation, flying most notably for the HJ Heinz Family in a corporate pilot role. In 1965, Ralph joined Allegheny Airlines and began a 30-year journey that saw the airline grow into USAirways. His experience grew by piloting and captaining Convair 580’s, Douglas DC-9’s, and Boeing 757/767’s. Ralph was a highly respected and skillful airman, as validated by being asked to the USAir Check Airman team where he trained hundred of fellow pilots in the Moon Township based simulator center. Following his retirement, Ralph became actively engaged in supporting Allegheny and Beaver County Meals on Wheels and several local chapters of Alcoholics Anonymous, as both a member and a mentor. Ralph was also a member of Moon Run Presbyterian Church and proudly held Steeler season tickets for 40 seasons. Ralph is survived by his beloved wife of over 30 years, Patty. He is also survived by his daughters Rebecca Sanns, Mary Anne (Bob) Maga, sons Mark (Missy) Vierling, James (Shelli), Dan, and Mark (Saundra) Gelzheiser, as well as 12 wonderful grandchildren. Ralph was preceded in death by his mother Bernice (Watson, Vierling) Sullivan, father Ralph James Vierling Sr., and his brother, Neil Vierling. Visitation Wednesday 1-8 PM with further visitation Thursday until 10:15 AM at Copeland’s Moon Township, 981 Brodhead Rd. His Service will be celebrated on Thursday at 11 AM at the Presbyterian Church of Coraopolis, 1201 Fifth Ave., Coraopolis, PA 15108. Entombment will follow at Resurrection Cemetery.


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