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Ralph Plaisance of Massapequa: Former NYPD sergeant and Navy veteran 

Ralph Plaisance founded the St. Pius X Council

Ralph Plaisance founded the St. Pius X Council of the Knights of Columbus. Credit: Plaisance Family

Many years ago, Ralph Plaisance founded the St. Pius X Council of the Knights of Columbus and that earned him the title of grand knight.

To his family, though, that title was lovingly and playfully changed.

“We called him the 'grand poobah,'" said his daughter Suzanne Maisch, of Roslyn Heights. That remembrance led to a hearty laugh over the phone from Gloria, Plaisance’s wife of 63 years.

Plaisance also would get a laugh out of that because that was his nature.

“I would say my dad was kind of a fun-loving guy,” Suzanne said. “He was a jokester and he talked to everybody. He was a socialite, I would say.”

Plaisance, of Massapequa, died on April 1 of complications from COVID-19 at 87, according to his family. Plaisance served in the U.S. Navy during the Korean War and worked for the New York City Police Department for 32 years beginning in 1957.

Plaisance was promoted to NYPD sergeant on Sept. 15, 1969. He memorialized the exact date — and the dates of the key moments of his life — in a detailed timeline of his life that he kept.

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An avid Yankees and New York Giants fan, Plaisance coached CYO baseball, served as president of VFW Post 5942 of Plainview for many years, and was involved in and often led events at Plainview’s St. Pius X RC Church.

“I would say he was a leader of sorts, a director,” Suzanne said. “He was one of the first officers hand-picked to be in the warrants squad. When he went up to sergeant, he was the commanding officer. Everyone I grew up with knew my dad.”

And everyone knew his favorite drink. “Dewar's and club — no fruit — on the rocks,” Gloria said.

Plaisance is also survived by his daughter Linda Dempoulos-Stein of Deer Park; his son and daughter-in-law, Stephen and Susan Plaisance of Bennington, Vermont; his son and daughter-in-law, Richard and Stacy Plaisance of Parker, Colorado; and his sister, Phyllis Lawrence, of Niantic, Connecticut.

Family members said a funeral service will be held at a later date.

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