Proto, Ralph A. "Butch" Ralph A. "Butch" Proto, 62, of East Haven and Hamden, loving father, brother, uncle and great uncle died on Monday, February 27, 2012 at the Veteran's Medical Center of West Haven. He was born in New Haven on April 13, 1949 to the late Ralph and Margaret DelBuco Proto. Ralph was a life member of the Disabled American Veterans, having served his country with distinction and heroism in the United States Army during the Vietnam War in the 101st Airborne Division. He was a highly decorated soldier, receiving the Vietnam Service Medal, the Vietnam Campaign Medal, the Army Air Medal, the Gallantry Cross, the Combat Infantryman Badge, and the Commendation Medal with the "V" device. Last but not least, he was the recipient of the fourth-highest combat award given by the United States Armed Forces, the Bronze Star. Prior to going into the service, he was the captain of the East Haven High School basketball team in 1967. He is survived by a daughter (his angel) Stefanie Proto of Old Saybrook, his devoted and loved companion, Laraine Kulpowich of Branford, his beloved and cherished sister, Maryann (Edward) DeMichele of East Haven, a niece Peggy (John) Luzzi of East Haven, a nephew Edward (Regina) DeMichele, Jr., of Madison and great niece Marylynn Luzzi and three great nephews, Christopher Luzzi, Joe and Steve DeMichele. He was also a member of the "Fab Four", including best friends Anthony Brignola, Steven Barbara and Richard D'Amico. A Memorial Service will be held Thursday evening at 7 pm. Prior to the service, friends may call at the EAST HAVEN MEMORIAL FUNERAL HOME, 425 Main St., from 4 to 7 pm. Burial Services will be private and at the convenience of the family.