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June 29, 1931 – April 17, 2019
Ralph G. Martin, 87, passed away April 17, 2019 at his home in Collingwood. He was born in Belleville in 1931 to Colin and Rosella Martin. Ralph will be lovingly remembered by his wife Erleen, daughter Sherri, sons Scott (Wendy) and Sean (Jamie), his grandchildren Brooklin, Tivon, Cooper and Jackson, brother-in-law Bill Siegner (Phyllis), and many nieces and nephews, friends and former students. Ralph is pre-deceased by his parents and siblings (Roland, Phyllis, Clint and Jackie).
Ralph graduated from Harriston High School, Stratford Teachers College and Waterloo Lutheran University. He taught for 35 years, starting in a 2-room school house in Uxbridge, then on to Hamilton and finished his career in Walkerton where he raised his family. He taught everything from Phys Ed and Geography to English and Consumer Studies, but his heart belonged to the incredible Theatre Arts (Drama) program he developed at WDSS, from which he was able to watch several students progress on to careers in professional theatre. Not one to sit still for long, after retiring from teaching, he joined Investors Group as a Financial Planner for 10 years.
Ralph was always passionate about geography, history and travel, and opened North America and the world to Erleen and their children. Whether a drive on the local backroads, cross-country camping, or expeditions to far-flung lands, he always engaged the locals to learn more about them, their land and their lives and often found himself invited to their supper table. Every trip was a lesson in life.
He enjoyed playing many sports – especially hockey (he was one hell-of-a goalie!) and curling (once skipped an “8-ender”) and was a life-long fan of the Toronto Maple Leafs and his Hamilton Ti-Cats. Ralph loved directing high school and community theatrical productions, coaching minor hockey, sporty cars and his dogs. He was so proud of his children and grandkids as well as his students – many of whom have remained friends all these years.
Ralph loved music and dancing and was always the life of the party. He never lost his infectious joie de vivre and his sense of humour was with him till the end.
The family wants to sincerely thank the local LHIN and the PSWs and nurses from We Care and St. Elizabeth for their uplifting kindness and devotion to Ralph. You brightened even his bad days. A very special thank you to Dr. Wells for all his wonderful support in making a difficult time easier.
A Celebration of Life will be held at Fawcett Funeral Home at 82 Pine Street, Collingwood, on Saturday May 4, from 1– 4 p.m., with remembrances at 3:00 p.m.
In lieu of flowers, donations to the Canadian Cancer Society would be gratefully appreciated by the family.