Just yesterday (5th), Devil’s Highway and ex- Deicide, Obituary etc. guitarist Ralph Santolla was taken off of life support after being in a coma due after suffering a heart attack. Earlier this morning, his mother Sue Santolla-Rocha, who has been keeping everyone informed about his condition, announced he is no longer with us. He was just 48.
She shared the following updates:
“Just one more thing this morning if you don’t know Ralph that well go on Google and Google his name he was much-loved and he will be much missed”
“Good morning. Just so we all start to heal, Ralph Santolla is not laying on that bed at St Joseph Hospital. He has gone, and he is happy and at peace in heaven. I want to start your day with a little humor. My wonderful mother and Ralph grandmother passed away three years ago. One of my friends was trying to console me, Fred Parker, and had the comment that Ralph would be playing music for his Nannie..it just made me laugh to visualize Ralph playing heavy metal for his Nannie. OMG….it would be so funny… His Nannie was an amazingly strong woman and she would tell him, cut it down, and play something decent. I ❤ my son more than anyone can imagine, my heart is broken..but I know he loved me unconditionally and will always be with me. It is the same with all of us, he will be with you everyone, everyday and his love will surround us now and forever.i wanted to tell everyone that I have thousands of messages…I just can’t deal with it right now but I love each of you.”
“Ralph Santolla in an organ donor so he will live on. Those recipients don’t know what they are getting until they suddenly become sarcastic, funny, get tattoos, start playing guitar.one other thing Devils Highway was getting close to completion.. It will be done and that is a Ralph’s legacy. Any questions along that line contact Deborah Borecki or Rick or Bill Hudson II, or Pierre Conze”
Santolla had played in a variety of bands, playing with Obituary from 2007-2009, as well as on three of Obituary’s more recent albums, The Stench of Redemption, Till Death Do us Part and To Hell With God, from 2006-2011. He also played on an Iced Earth album (2004’s the Glorious Burden). Our thoughts and condolences go out to Santolla’s friends and family during this difficult time.