The co-founder of St. Joseph County’s Venetian Festival, Ralph Kitron, passed away on Tuesday, Feb. 5.
Kitron was instrumental in bringing the now-defunct Venetian Festival to fruition, and helped bring joy to families in St. Joseph for nearly 33 years. He also built the diorama of the old Silver Beach Amusement Park, which now resides as part of the carousel at Silver Beach.
According to WSJM, folks around Silver Beach know Kitron as “Mr. Wizard,” and he was also a man of many talents. The father of three, grandfather of three more, and great-grandfather of an additional three kids, was also a drag racer.
The Silver Beach Carousel webpage paid tribute to Kitron, calling him quote, “a boy at heart – a man who,like a cat, has lived through more near-deaths from strokes and throat cancer than most.
Kitron was in his mid-seventies when he passed, his funeral arrangements have not been publicized.