Page 8 - Southington Magazine Issue 46 Autumn 2021
P. 8

The Mann. The Legend.
 Southington lost a larger-than-life pillar of the community on August 8, 2020. Ralph Mann was 90. He spent his years doing good and giving back to the town that he adored. A town that adored him back.
I’ve lived here all my life and for some reason, never knew Ralph Mann. I guess I wasn’t a part of the many organizations to which he devoted his time and passion.
Everyone knew and embraced Ralph, one of Southington’s kindest, fairest and most trusting residents. A humble gentleman, he worked his way up to president of Southington Savings Bank (SSB). He served as Chairman of the Board of Directors of then-Bradley Memorial Hospital, Chairman of the Town Board of Finance and president of the YMCA Board of Directors. He was committed to the First Congregational Church and YMCA Camp Sloper. Ralph donated and volunteered endless hours to numerous other charities and organizations.
“He enjoyed knowing that he helped people,” said his wife, Meredith.
So much has been spoken and written about Ralph Mann. His memorial at YMCA Camp Sloper, organized by Meredith and son, Steve, drew a huge crowd of friends and associates, many of whom spoke so lovingly about him.
I decided to frame his life and times with some colorful anecdotes offered by his family, co-workers and pals who spent so much leisure time with him.
“They don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.” – Teddy Roosevelt
The Reverend Victoria Triano cited the above quote when remembering Ralph at his memorial in June.
Ralph Mann grew up in Milldale and graduat- ed from Lewis High School in 1947, where he served
as class
He went
to college
at Denison
in Ohio,
ated and
joined the
He left as
a Cap-
tain after
four years.
Once back home, he and his friends were just hang- ing out one day on the town green, according to Meredith.Itwasthemid-1950s.MiltonChaffee,then president of Southington Savings Bank approached Ralph and asked, “What are you doing?”
“Not much,” replied Ralph.
“Come work for me as a bank teller,” Chaffee said. That was the start of Ralph’s banking career.
It should be noted that, in his high school year- book, Ralph was voted most likely to be a millionaire and bank president.
Tony Priore met Ralph when he himself began working at Southington Savings Bank after gradu- ating from the University of New Haven. He ended up staying for 25 years, becoming senior vice presi- dent and CFO under Ralph. Tony brought SSB into the technology age, setting up the computer system for all three bank branches.
“Keep Ralph away from computers and cell phones,” he joked. Ralph was lost when it came to technology. Tony handled it all. He recalled one time when he was dealing with a computer glitch. The lines at the tellers’ windows were getting long.
“I told Ralph to buy me 10 minutes while I fixed the problem. So, Ralph went out on the floor and just talked to the people!” This was the same bank presi-
Meredith and Ralph Mann
Southington Magazine — Autumn 2021

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