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Ralph Wolfe, Long-Time Panasonic Exec, Dies At 82

12/17/2007 02:00:00 AM Eastern

EAST HAMPTON, N.Y. - Ralph J. Wolfe, 82, long-time CE executive with General Electric and Panasonic, died on Nov. 27 following complications following knee replacement surgery.

Wolfe began his career in consumer electronics with General Electric, where he spent 20 years and became national accounts manager for the electronics sales operation. He joined Panasonic in 1969, where he eventually became senior VP of sales and marketing and became chairman of the Panasonic Management Committee in 1987.

A member of the board of Matsushita Electric Corporation of America from 1986 to 1991 he also had responsibility for Panasonic's External Affairs Division. Prior to his retirement in 1992 he was the senior American in the Japanese company, according to an obituary in the The Republican, a local newspaper.

Born in Holyoke, Mass., he was a highly decorated World War II Navy veteran, awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross for bravery and a Purple Heart while serving with a B24 Squadron in the South Pacific.

Wolfe was a ten-year member of the East End Hospice board of directors, also serving as a patient volunteer. He was a former president of the board of trustees of the First Presbyterian Church of East Hampton. Immediately following his retirement from Panasonic Company, he volunteered as the executive director of The Retreat, the East Hampton shelter for victims of domestic violence.

He is survived by his wife Sherry, his sister, two daughters, a son and four grandchildren.

In lieu of flowers the family requests that donations be made to East End Hospice, P.O. Box 1048, Westhampton Beach, N.Y. 11978.

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