Lee, Mass., farrier Ralph Rotondo passed away Thursday, Jan. 7, 2021. He was 88.
Rotondo worked as a paper maker for Kimberly Clark and retired at 55 after 38 years of service. Although Rotondo retired from the mill, he continued to work as a farrier, one of his many passions. He had several hundred hoof-care clients with whom he built strong, lasting friendships.
Rotondo worked for several farms before building his own. He raised various farm animals and teams of Belgian draft horses. He drove his horses in many parades including driving the H.B. May Steam Engine for the Lee Fire Department, for which he was an honorary member. He was a long-time member of the Farm Bureau and a founding member of the Colonial Carriage and Driving Society. He drove his team in many Tub Parades in Lenox, and many people to their proms, weddings, and even a funeral. He drove wagon rides in the Norman Rockwell Christmas on Main Street in Stockbridge, Bartlett's Orchard, Undermountain Farm and also sleigh rides and plowing events at Hancock Shaker Village. Ralph also drove his horse and wagon onto the stage for a play at Jacob's Pillow. He and his team gained such notoriety he was hired to do a photo shoot for the Bridal Edition of Town and Country Magazine at Wheatleigh, in Lenox. The bright, big smile on his face while driving his horses displayed his joy.
A memorial service will be at a later date to be determined at the convenience of his family. Memorial donations in Ralph's memory may be made to BMC Lymphedema Clinic or The Berkshire Humane Society in care of the Roche Funeral Home, 120 Main St., Lenox, MA 01240.