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A Tribute to My Mom, Dad and Sister

Some people have told me that having my families pictures and a memorial on my business website is not very professional. Well, if this offends anyone, I am sorry . . . both my Mom and Dad started me in the Ravelco business and they were both very proud of Ravelco. My sister Linda actually assembled Ravelcos, so I think they all should have some recognition from a company that they helped start.

I started Ravelco on July 20, 1976, with a small loan from my Mom. Every day without failure I could expect a call from my Mom in her cheery voice saying "Hi, honey did you sell anything today?" After a few months of this it started to annoy me and I guess she could tell it in my voice. One day she sharply snapped "I'm sorry I bothered you!" and slammed the phone down. I knew I was wrong but I was just upset because at that time sales for the Ravelco were far and few in between. I guess I was really upset at myself for not making any sales. That night I made sure I went to see her so she would not be upset with me, even though she already forgot about it. (Moms are like that) Business was getting better but nothing really spectacular for about two and a half years. On the early morning of Friday, May 25, 1979, my Mom passed away unexpectedly at 53 years old from a heart attack. Later on that day, while we were making her funeral arrangements I received a call for an order of Ravelcos. It was the first time I ever sold 100 Ravelcos at one time. I guess Mom finally got her wish and was helping me sell.

In memory of Omie Houston

December 30, 1925 - May 25, 1979

My Dad had the great fortune to live to age 78. In 1977, he too arranged for me to get a somewhat larger loan for Ravelco in order to get Ravelco started on the track for production where it is today. He was worried about getting me the loan and was teased about it from his brothers. The loan was a five-year loan but I paid it off in three years. My Dad was a very patriotic man, as was anyone that was in World War II. He put up a tall pole with an American Flag in front of his home the day I paid the loan off and kept it up for well over a year! We had a great time together and I was able to enjoy him being around and taking him places in my plane. He would always say the same thing every time we landed "Well Jim, I remember when you were a little baby in the crib and now you are landing this big plane." Sometimes I would tease him and say it before he had the chance to, of course this would make him laugh. In 2002, for the Thanksgiving Holidays my family flew to Rhode Island to visit him. On the Saturday before Thanksgiving we rented a van and drove to New York City with my Dad, his older brother Albert, and my cousins. We laughed our heads off listening to my Dad and his brother argue all the way there over nonsense (like they always did). We went to Little Italy and enjoyed all the decorations and festivities in preparation for the upcoming Christmas season. We had the time of our lives with my Dad that day. Four days later on Wednesday, November 27, the morning before Thanksgiving Day, we were supposed to meet my Dad for breakfast. We were worried because he never called. He too, like my Mom, had died unexpectedly that morning getting ready to come meet us for breakfast. It was like we went up to visit him one last time before he died, but he wasn't sick. 

In memory of Vincent "Jimmy" Raviele Sr.

July 12, 1924 - November 27, 2002 

My sister Linda started working with Ravelco in 1976 when we first started. She actually made Ravelcos and was an excellent worker. Linda also, answered the phone. Linda was a no nonsense type person. Till this day, I have not met a person as honest as she was. In dealing with Linda, you better tell the whole truth and nothing but the truth. Linda had a heart of gold but she also had a sharp tongue and would not take any nonsense from anyone including me. Back in the late 70’s there was a false rumor circulating in the Houston area (most likely started by our competition) that a Ravelco could be bypassed by jamming a potato in the face of the Ravelco and driving off with the vehicle. My sister knew that this rumor bothered me even though it was a lie. One day the service manager from A.J.Foyt Chevrolet, called to place an order for another 50 Ravelcos. I had him on speaker phone and my sister Linda who was working right beside me heard the entire conversation. This man said "Hey Vinny, please send us another 50 Ravelcos and put it on this purchase order" and then proceeded to give me the PO number. He then said "I can’t believe that we are selling so many of these Ravelco Anti Theft Devices . . . when all you need to do to bypass them is to stick a potato in them" I said "come on now, you cannot do that, don’t you think if that were true we would be out of business in no time?" I could tell that this bothered my sister Linda. I then left the office and this same man called back to order a special coded Ravelco plug. This time Linda answered the phone, he told her who he was and that they needed to move a car off the showroom floor. He said they must have lost both Ravelco plugs and wanted to know how fast could they get a plug because this car needed to be moved right away! Being my protective sister and hearing the previous conversation with this man, Linda quickly answered "Why, don’t you use a potato?" On September 1, 2010, Linda went to the hospital for routine surgery; while there recovering an infection set in (Sepsis) and on September 17, 2010, my sister Linda quickly passed away. She is severely missed.

In memory of Linda Raviele


May 26, 1946 – September 17, 2010

It is a shame that with all Ravelco's recent publicity and success that they are not here to see and enjoy it.

Mom, Dad and Linda - THANK YOU FOR EVERYTHING, I love you! See you in heaven!

Vincent "Jimmy" Raviele Jr.


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