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December 10, 2004

Husband, who was a deaf mute, well known by locals

From: Shamokin News Item - Shamokin,PA,USA - Dec 10, 2004

By Leslie Richardson , Times-Shamrock Writer

SAINT CLAIR — Ralph McAloose was a man about town.

He was a big Philadelphia Eagles fan who always had a cigar in his mouth and a pocketful of candy for anyone he saw. Every morning, patrons would hear the click, click, click of his cane as he entered Tommy's M&S Lunch, North Second Street.

Joann Brennan, the restaurant's owner, remembers seeing McAloose last Thursday, like she usually did every day. But that was the last time.

McAloose and his wife, Frances, were found dead Wednesday in the kitchen of their Cherry Street home. An autopsy performed Thursday on Frances, 77, revealed the cause of death as accidental.

Authorities believe that dehydration, acute renal failure, helplessness and incapacitation due to a fall and the early stages of pneumonia were factors in the cause of death.

The autopsy on Ralph McAloose, 79, is expected to be completed today.

Borough police Wednesday afternoon entered the home, owned by the Schuylkill County Housing Authority, and found the couple after a report from a postal carrier, who noticed the mail piling up.

County Coroner David J. Dutcavage, who was on the scene with medical examiner Richard P. Bindie, said the couple may have died as early as last Friday.

Police Chief Michael Carey said the couple lived at the home since 1988. He also said the home was secured, there was no sign of anything missing and no apparent trauma to the bodies.

Brennan said McAloose came into the restaurant every morning for the last 27 years. He sat in the same booth each day. Although McAloose was deaf and mute, no one had trouble communicating with him.

"He did the word scramble in The REPUBLICAN & Herald every day. We would all help him," Brennan said.

"When he couldn't get the puzzle, he would pace back and forth until I crossed the street to help him with it," Pedro Marticio added. "I loved to sit and do the puzzle with him."

©The News Item 2004