Ralph Henry Steinbarth

Ralph Henry Steinbarth, 94, a former Hinsdale resident, passed away peacefully at home in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., on June 25, 2021, surrounded by family and his longtime companion, Sue Johnson.

Ralph was born in 1927 on Chicago's Southwest side to Henry and Adelaide, née Andrzejewski, Steinbarth. He attended St. Rita High School. After graduation, Ralph and life-long friend Frank O'Grady enlisted in the Navy and served in World War II in Guam.

After the War, Ralph attended Illinois College, where he met Lois Ann Arata. They were married in 1949 at St. Margaret of Scotland Catholic Church in Chicago.

Ralph and Lois lived in Beverly, where they raised their family and made many friendships that continued after their move to Hinsdale. Throughout his life, Ralph deeply cherished his family and friends.

Ralph was the founder and chairman of La Preferida, which began in 1949. His determination and vision grew the company from his father's food store into a national brand. He provided his family the opportunity to expand La Preferida to a fourth generation, with his children and grandchildren operating the business today.

He was preceded in death by his wife of 39 years, Lois Ann, née Arata; his brother, Bill (Ann); his father- and mother-in-law, John and Corrine, née Sheehan, Arata; and his sister-in-law, Camille (Emil) Senica.

He is survived by his children, Loral (Mark) Valley, Rich (Sharon), Diane (Breck) Grigas and David (Amy); his grandchildren, John (Shannon) Valley, Anne (Brad Collins) Valley, Tom (Kim) Steinbarth, Mike (Kayleigh) Steinbarth, Matt Grigas, Sarah (Cody) Proctor, and Gigi, Meg and Veronika Steinbarth; his great-grandchildren, Rosie Valley, Opal Collins, Nathan and Dominic Steinbarth, Cole Steinbarth and Henry Grigas; and his nieces and nephews, Mary Cleef (Albert) and Hannah, William, Ralph and Brenda Steinbarth.

Visitation is at 8:30 a.m. Thursday, July 29, at St. Isaac Jogues Catholic Church, 306 W. Fourth St. Hinsdale. A Mass of Christian Burial will be follow at 10 a.m. at the church.

A celebration of life will be held in Florida later this year.

Interment is private.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Maryville Golf Academy, 1150 N. River Road, Des Plaines, IL 60016; or St. Rita High School, 7740 S. Western Ave., Chicago, IL 60620.

Sullivan Funeral Home in Hinsdale handled the arrangements.