Ralph B. RootRalph B. “Pork” Root, 74, of 2822 State Route 96A, Interlaken, passed away peacefully following a brief illness Monday, February 20, 2017 at Cayuga Medical Center, surrounded by his family.

The family will receive friends from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., Friday, February 24 at Covert Funeral Home in Ovid.  A reception and celebration of Ralph’s life will begin at 2 p.m. at the South Seneca Sportsman’s Club, 6894 Yarnell Road, Ovid. In lieu of flowers, kindly consider a donation in Ralph’s memory to the South Seneca Beautification Fund, 7263 Main Street, Ovid, NY 14521.toward the purchase of a memorial tree in his honor.

Ralph was born in Ithaca on August 30, 1942, a son of the late Richard S. and Helen D. (Hewett) Root.  He attended Gorham Central Schools where he met the love of his life, Joan (Phillips), with whom he shared 56 years of love and adventure, including the births of his greatest joys, daughters, Brenda and Nicole.
He was an avid outdoorsman, a member of both the South Seneca and Interlaken Sportsman’s Clubs, a hobby automotive dealer and enjoyed annual camping adventures with his long-time friends.

A lover of finely tuned engines, Ralph was a classic car enthusiast, taking tremendous pride in his ’46 Ford Coupe Street Rod. That passion carried into his professional life, where after a brief stint as a painter with Ithaca Painter’s Union #178, he took to the road as a long-haul truck driver. He found his niche as a school bus driver for the South Seneca Central School District, where he spent 25 years making lasting connections with two generations of students and was still driving just one week before his death.

In addition to his wife, Ralph is survived by his daughters, Brenda (Donald) Tuttle and Nicole (Tommy) Hayward,  all of Interlaken; his grandchildren, Krystal (Kyle) Wilson and Kyle (Jessica Schrader) Wickum, and Alexxis and Ryleigh Hayward; great grandchildren, McKinnleigh and Ryan; siblings, Ronald (Bea) Root, Roger Root, Sandy Lewis and their families and his faithful companion, Drake.