Ralph Gerard Purcell

Passed 12/04/2020

Obituary for Ralph Gerard Purcell

Ralph Gerard Purcell died peacefully in his home on December 4th in Dartmouth at the age of 74. He was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer in February 2019.

Ralph is survived by his wife of 45 years; Chris Purcell (Boulos) and daughters Stephanie Purcell, Vanessa Chouinard and son in law Andre Chouinard. Ralph was very proud of his children and loved quality time together as a family.

Ralph was born on August 5th, 1946 in Antigonish, Nova Scotia to Ralph and Dorothea (Grant) Purcell and grew up with nine brothers and sisters who he loved very much. He is a two time graduate of St. Francis Xavier University and held a Masters Degree from Memorial University.

Ralph started his teaching career in Jamaica before moving to Deer Lake, Newfoundland where he spent the majority of his career as a school principal.

Ralph was a skilled gardener, his daughter’s handyman, a lover of books and movies, a home chef, a golfer, a fisherman, well versed in global events and he loved the CBC. Ralph and Chris traveled to many destinations, participated in the communities where they lived and loved to spend time with so many of their good friends and family members.

Due to the pandemic a memorial service will be scheduled at a later date when family and friends can be together. Ralph would like to thank his team of doctors and nurses especially Dr. Margaret Leighton and Dr. Peter Leighton. If you wish to make a donation in Ralph’s name please give to Souls Harbour Rescue Mission:

Photos & Video

Add New Photos & Video


Chris and family. I would like to offer my condolences to you. He was a wonderful man. He had many great stories to tell and many words of wisdom to offer. He was a wonderful brother-in-law. It was always nice to get together and share fond memories of his parents and family. He will be greatly missed by his brother's and sister' and many nieces and nephews. Fly high Ralph.
- Lorraine Purcell
Dear Chris, Stephanie, Vanessa and Andre. Sorry to hear the sad news about Ralph's passing. I have so many fond memories of you and Ralph. Many visits and dinners shared when the girls were younger. Ralph was an awesome teacher to both of my girls. Sending hugs, love and prayers. Remember all the wonderful memories you shared.
- Caroline Allen
Chris & Family - We were saddened to hear of Ralph's passing. He was a terrific principal and teacher at Xavier High. Always striving to do the best for his staff & students. Always a pleasure to work with. And on a personal level, he was gracious and kind. We enjoyed being in his company.
- Jerome Jesseau
Dear Chris, We were so sorry to read the news of Ralph's passing. We always enjoyed meeting him at PROBUS meetings and chatting about all manner of topics be it travel, politics or local places to visit. We're glad we had the chance for lunch and a beverage with you on a sunny day in Dartmouth not so long ago. We too shall miss him.
- Lynne and Ian
Loving Sympathy to you all. It is hard to say good bye, but after watching Ralph suffer so much, it must be a relief that he is free from pain. He will always be with you in the wonderful memories of all the years you had together. I have many too both in our homes and at Xavier. Thinking about you all. Aunt Beth
- Beth Boulos Ryan
I was so sorry to hear of Ralph's passing. I met Ralph and Chris through their membership in PROBUS Dartmouth and it was always a pleasure talking to them at meetings or on our club outings. Personable, funny, a great supporter of the group, Ralph will be missed by all our members and by myself in particular.
- Brent Hobson
Ralph was a wonderful person and a great teacher. He taught me History and I had the privilege to share an historic event at his home in Deer Lake; The first lunar landing. He was sharing a place with Joe Joseph at the time. He and Joe are getting caught up in Heaven. He also had an amazing voice and I remember him singing Were You There When They Crucified My Lord. Things I have never forgotten. Rest is piece Ralph.
- Wayne Ezekiel
Ralph and I played many games of golf and shared many a meal,[he made the best barbecuded steak I have ever tasted]& shared a few brew as well.A good man &friend.He will be missed by all. Al Harding
- al harding
As a classmate of Ralph's from primary to high school, I am saddened to hear of his passing. On his visits to Antigonish, he always wanted to chat about our school days, classmates and family. My sincere sympathy to his family, 0brothers and sisters. Wendell & Keah Schurman, Antigonish
- Wendell Schurman
Chris, Stephanie, Vanessa & Andre: Thinking of you at this time & sending condolences! Thinking back on all the wonderful memories we shared at family functions in Deer Lake with you all! I will always remember Ralph with his big smile & big heart! Take care of each other! We love you! Loretta & Tom
- Loretta ONeill
So surprised and sad to hear of Ralph's passing, a great neighbour and friend. I always enjoyed a cold one with Ralph after a mowing or garden work in the yard. Our thoughts and prayers are with Chris and family during this difficult time. Harry and Linda Savelle
- Harry Savelle
So sorry to hear the news, he is at peace now flying with the other angels . I gave many great memories of Ralph, Mr. Purcell , my first was back in 1970 when he arrived at our School. He was my mentor and later one of the people responsible for my job of 46 years in the public library service, Rest In Peace
- Worneta and Gary
Chris and Family, so sorry to hear of your loved one's passing, it is such a difficult time losing a loved one, my thoughts and prayers are with you and may God Bless You All.
- Loretta Wight
Christine, Stephanie, Vanessa, Andre, Baker & families We were saddened to hear of Ralph's passing! We have so many wonderful family memories with you all, while living in Deer Lake. Ralph was always the perfect host, and was always there to help. Thoughts and prayers are with you all during this difficult time. Take care of each other. Hugs and Love. Cathy & Dave
- Cathy Boulos
Ralph will be remembered as a much loved friend, great neighbour and a kind and decent human being. We are heartbroken and saddened and will keep him in our prayers. Hugs to Chris and family. Frank Mac Cormick and Sheryl Wilton
- Frank Maccormick
On behalf of my family, we wish to express what a gift it was to have Ralph as a teacher and a close family friend. May you all experience the strength necessary to endure this difficult time.
- Harold White
So very sad to hear of Ralphs passing... He was a patient at our dental clinic; he and I always had great chats when he came for his appointments. He always had a smile on his face and seemed to stay very positive through his sickness. My sincere condolences to Chris and his family. Heaven now has a new Angel to watch over you all and in your hearts he shall stay... prayers for you all..
- Sherry
I was sorry to hear of Ralph's death. He was a good friend to so many of his relatives.....they often spoke of him. I always found him friendly and kind. I am sure he and Cyril will have lots to discuss about the state of the world!
- Judie Reddy
So sorry to read of Ralph's passing! He was a classmate of my sister Maureen! My condolences to all the family! Keeping you in my thoughts and prayers!!
- Sharon Rankin

Leave a message to share your favorite memories and offer words of sympathy and comfort:

Enter Your Phone Number

To leave a condolence message, add photos, or add videos, please provide your name and email address.