Ralph J. Lynas

Passed 03/31/2021

Obituary for Ralph J. Lynas

As I write this story I am thinking of a very nice, good, kind gentle man with whom I lived for 58 years.
We were married from Trinity Church, Bangor Northern Ireland on 3rd June 1963 at 1.00pm and left for Canada at 7.00pm that night on board the Empress of England with friends Queenie and Bill on an adventure from the old country to the new. Ralph left behind his mum and dad and sister Myrtle and I left my mum and brother Kyle and sister Pauline and cousin Brenda. My older brother Bill was already in Canada. We also left family members, friends and acquaintances we have known since childhood and adulthood from church, school, and social activities, especially Saturday night dances. For Ralph he knew he would miss best friends Stanley (May) and Alan (Helena) football (soccer) buddies also “social” visits to The Castle Arms. For me it was family, old friends and Elizabeth however we were off together on an adventure and hoping all would turn out well (it certainly did). Our love of dance began at school where girls were exposed to twice weekly dance classes. Ralph didn’t need teaching, he was a natural and he did get his bronze medal, dancing with Helena (before I arrived on his scene). Helena (Tina) was the friend who first persuaded me to go out with Ralph though I had known of Ralph for years through school and Church. I thought he was so serious as he didn’t smile a lot. He did tell me he was smiling inside.
1963, we arrived in Canada at night, docked under the Chateau Frontenac in Quebec. Bill and Queenie went west to Brampton, Ontario and we went east to Saint John New Brunswick where Ralph already had a position with Irving. We were adopted into the McVea family, Margaret, Billy, Johanne and soon to arrive, Paul, our Godson. Margaret and Bill introduced us to friends in Saint John and we did enjoy our 13 month stay in the city living in a fully furnished bungalow before making the move to an apartment and we bought three rooms of furniture from Sears for $699.00.
From Saint John we moved to Brampton Ontario, home to Queenie and Bill, Stephen and Lynn. Ralph worked for DeHavilland Aircraft, eventually working on to the FHE 400 Bras d’Or Hydrofoil which took us to our next Canadian stop Sorel, Quebec where we again met new friends and acquaintances and where we were first exposed to Curling and also started our travel bug by taking a three week holiday in Jamaica.
The hydrofoil project took us next to Halifax, Nova Scotia where we bought our first home in 1969 on spec, as we were supposed to return to Ontario. Caudle Park was where we first met Marlene and Bob (Rudderham) Jeff and Jody who have remained constant and super helpful throughout our friendship and especially during Ralph’s very short illness. After 50 years in the house we sold the property and moved to an apartment. Ralph loved our apartment and, most afternoons you would find him sitting in his favourite spot in the lobby in what he called Chat Room where he never missed the opportunity to grill residents on where they came from or what they worked at before Friesian Court. He was a people person, with a phenomenal memory for names and places. I always relied on him to remind me of names and dates. I really think I became known as “Ralph’s wife”.
He also had a long association with friends and competitors from the construction business, BIO and was a member of the Bedford Lawn Bowling Club and the Canadian DanceSport Federation.
We joined the Mayflower Curling Club in 1970 and enjoyed the social and competitive curling and the Saturday night dances. It was at the curling club where we met lifelong friends, Eric and Anne (MacNearney) Marguerite and Harrison (O’Brien), Chal and Ione (Anderson) and their family members Eric and Ralph went into business as construction contractors and managers. We loved to dance at the curling club. Florence Ivany invited us along to a Canadian Ballroom Dance Championships held at, the then Hotel Nova Scotia, where we met an English couple, dance teachers Len and Ann Hart. Len invited us to check out their dance classes and that was the beginning of our dance experiences starting at beginner level and moving on up to eventually dance in amateur competitions. Roy and Janet Henneberry (Dartmouth) were our second dance coaches and we had many good social times and travels around the Maritimes and Ontario dancing in amateur competitions, accompanied by Joan (Henneberry). Jane Edgett was our final dance coach for amateur competitions and in 1988 Jane put us through our paces to gain our professional status when we formed our company Come Dance Associates in 1988.
We began looking for a venue to hold classes and just by chance Ralph met a friend who suggested the Bedford Lion’s Club had a large dance floor so we checked it out one Saturday and met Pat Morrison, the Recreation Director, who informed us she had attempted social dance classes for three years with little success, but was willing to try again. I believe Richard and Marina were the first to sign up. The first night we showed up with our music and equipment for our very first class it turned out we had enough registrations for 2 and ½ classes and, from there it just grew like topsy, in a very good way. We had three classes per night and Friday Night Dances. We had a marvellous time at the “Lynas Den” for 12 years until we decided to cut back at bit as we were both holding down day jobs too. We taught at other venues and finally ended up teaching only on Sunday afternoons at Stadacona Halifax - then Covid 19 stopped everything. Throughout 32 years of teaching dance we thoroughly enjoyed meeting people and watching them grow into very good dancers who enjoyed the competitive and the social side of the sport as much as we did. Once the dancers started arriving for class, we were never tired, as music and movement is so good for body and soul.
With the help of many of our dancers we staged special events on Friday nights including team matches when each group picked a theme and dressed and choreographed to represent the theme. We never knew what was going to show up on the floor, we only ever got a cassette of their walk on music so we were always surprised and delighted at the teams ingenuity. One team in particular became known as The Tim Bits and this team came with us to other dances in N.S. and N.B. Team matches were hilarious.
I am finding it difficult to talk about Ralph in the past tense so I will continue as “we” as a friend reminded me we were a team and we were very lucky to have a good life together for 58 years.
I always knew he was a nice, caring man and I now know many others agree with me judging to the many, many responses I have received. Cards, letters, flowers, food, hugs (virtual), telephone calls, emails, etc.
My thanks go out to very good friends who have helped me over the past two weeks and I know will continue to do so. My thanks also to the nurses, staff and doctors on the 6th floor of the V.G. They were very caring and helped me through the rough times.
Ralph wrote me a note his second day in hospital when he knew he was not going to make it home. He asked me for paper and pen and suggested I go for coffee. He handed me what he had written and in part, it said “such a nice life we have had together. Such a good friendship we had with love from my wife, all 58 years”. A note I will treasure. There are many adjectives to describe Ralph and I know them all.
With apologies to many more friends and acquaintances I could acknowledge through curling, dance, business, etc., over the years and no doubt I will recall other incidences however, I could write a book about our life and travels throughout Canada the U.K. and Europe also I often said we should have kept a record of the funny comments our dancers made during class, mainly about each other.
Cremation has taken place and sometime in the safe future we will celebrate Ralph as this kind, decent, and generous man who made me laugh with his sometimes weird sense of humour. Please feel free add your memories and photographs to Ralph’s story on the website

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It is hard to know where to start in remembering Ralph. Fifty eight years ago my late husband Billy McVea came home from work announcing that they had a new soccer player for the team in the Dry Dock, name Ralph Lynas who had just arrived in Saint John with his new wife, Margaret. He was going to play soccer that night. I asked where his wife was and Billy said she would be at the hotel, alone. Well, I couldn't think about that and said she should come to stay with me while they were playing. That was the beginning of a great friendship that developed over the years. Ralph and Margaret were considered family and we shared many happy times together. Especially at Christmas when they would arrive in Saint John by train from Halifax, that was when we had trains coming here. It was always a great occasion,. Church on Christmas Eve, then after church, Ralph and Billy would endeavour to assemble the gifts from Santa Claus. Christmas morning and opening gifts, Ralph always managed to hide one of his and when everyone else was finished he always had one left. When Billy died, Ralph took on the role of carving the turkey and serving the cocktails. Billy and Ralph always managed to get in a game of golf in the summer. Many activities kept us from getting together more often but we always kept in touch and they were always there for us.. Ralph always referred to me as his mother as I was six months older. However, I didn't hold that against him. He was a wonderful person and will be sorely missed by everyone, especially Margaret. I wish I could see her but with Covid and Lock downs that is impossible but hopefully better days are ahead and we can get together again. Love and Sincere condolences to Margaret, until we meet again and can have a hug. Margaret and Don xxoo
- Margaret McCully
Margaret, We heard about Ralph's death from one of your former dance students, Marilyn Brownell. Grace and I were saddened to learn this news and we email to offer our deepest sympathy to you on Ralph's death. We learned a lot about Ralph and you from his obituary which was amazing, interesting and very personal. We have fond memories of both of you in the Halifax dance 'world.' May your memories of Ralph bring you comfort and strength in the days and weeks ahead, and smiles and joy in time. - Grace and Richard Beazley
- Richard Beazley
So sorry to hear about Ralph's passing. Heartfelt condolences. I have very fond memories of you both gliding around the dance floor and all the fun we had at competitions and Len and Ann's Friday night dances. You both lit up the room with your smiles and positive attitudes. I am glad to know that you have many good friends and fond memories to help you through this difficult time. God Bless.
- Cheryl Flemming
Dear Margaret, Our sincere condolences on your loss of Ralph. We spent many happy hours dancing in your classes and during the many Friday night practices. We met so many new friends through the dancing, some of whom have become life-long best friends. We shall always remember the wonderful atmosphere in your dance classes and on the Friday nights. We have never lived down the night we got lost on the way to class and ended up at the back fence of a cemetery! Ralph's gentle nature and dry humour is a fond memory that we shall always cherish. Carman and Nancy
- Nancy and Carman
Marg and I were stunned and saddened to hear of Ralph's death. When we first joined your class in the late 1990s, we were so happy to have found such pleasant, friendly, and competent teachers. As the male half of our couple, I got to spend a large part of each class with Ralph. He was smart, funny, and able to keep a bunch of nervous men, some of whom might not have necessarily wanted to be taking dance class, interested and focused. I know that Marg loved it when she got to dance with him, as he was not only skilled, charming, and irish, but he was light years ahead of my clumsy dancing. I know that I will never pass a Pepsi machine without thinking of Ralph. You can only imagine our pleasure when we moved into the Fresian, only to find you both living there. We would often encounter Ralph on his way to or from curling or one of his other activities. He always had a way of making you feel special. Please accept our most sincere condolences, Margaret. He will be missed by all who encountered or knew him. Marg and Ian MacLachlan
- Ian MacLachlan
We are so sorry to hear of Ralph's passing. Thinking of you at this difficult time. Carolyn & Allan Baker (Wilf & Miki's daughter and son-in-law)
- Carolyn Baker
Dear Margaret, we are so sorry to hear of the passing of Ralph. He was so kind and caring. Being part of your dance students, was one of the best times of our lives. The memories live on. How you and Ralph took us, both with two left feet, and taught them to dance is still amazing to us! Our hearts go out to you, and we will never forget the happy time we spent with you and Ralph. Linda and Don Thornhill
- Don Thornhill
Margaret, I'm so sorry to hear about Ralph. Having the chance to read what you wrote about Ralph, to see the genuine love, enjoyment, and adventure you both had a chance to lead with each other is something to aspire to. Getting to know you and Ralph through your trips to Second Cup the last 15 years has been lovely and some of the conversations Ralph and I had the chance to have will stick with me forever. My thoughts are with you, Margaret.
- Tara
This must be one of the hardest things I have ever done. Writing this obituary for my dear brother-in-law Ralph. A true gentleman, funny, so very kind and a wonderful husband to my dear sister Margaret who has lost her soul mate. What wonderful memories she has over the last Fifty-Eight years together. This is a heartfelt opinion my family would agree with. Pauline and David Harrison.
- David Harrison
Hello Margaret, So sorry to hear of Ralph's passing. We always looked up to you for inspiration in life and dance. Each night we were in your company and that of dancing friends was special. As hard as you tried I still have two left feet, and as hard as Dorothy tries, it will not change. Once again, thanks for all the great memories, and we wish you all the best going froward.
- Mel Dauphinee
Dear Margaret, We are very sad to hear of Ralph's passing. We have fond memories of you both and our Monday night lessons at the Lions Den. Ralph was a true gentleman and such a graceful dancer! We will always remember his patience with us, and his wonderful sense of humour. He will be greatly missed. Know that our thoughts and prayers are with you. - Tom and Maureen Mader
- Maureen Mader
Hopefully, knowing that Ralph (and yourself) instilled a love of dance in SO many people will bring you some comfort during this difficult time. Our sincere sympathy - Leanne & Randy
- Leanne Inkpen
You have our sincere condolences on the loss of Ralph.We have great memories of time spent with you and Ralph at our classes and social occasions.You were both so patient even when some nites our class was more interested in socializing.Ralph would say put your tea away and we will start classes.We will always hold these great friends and memories in our hearts.
- Don MacDonald
Words cannot convey the saddness that Sandra and I felt at hearing of Ralph's passing. We will always cherish the times we shared when Ralph and I worked on projects together at BIO as well as the good times and fun while Sandra and I took dancing lessons. In both instances there was never an obstacle that couldn't be overcome with a smile and humor. Ralph was an exceptional person that will be missed and fondly remembered.
- Glen and Sandra
Dear Margaret, I am so sorry to hear of Ralph's passing. You were a wonderful couple who I enjoyed meeting any time you dropped into Truefoam to visit with Eric MacNearney. God Bless.
- Fred Cox
Sending you much love and big hugs, Margaret. You and Ralph were an incredible team, touching so many lives through your dance studio/lessons. I'll always remember the Friday night dances, the team matches, and your smiling faces. You and Ralph were certainly a "team". My deepest condolences to you, and all your closest family and friends.
- Carol Coutts
So saddened to learn of Ralph's passing. My sympathies to you Margaret.
- Wanda Smith
Margaret, we were saddened to hear the sudden passing of Ralph. We lost another good one. Ralph was always glad to meet you, open and sincere and joy to be around. The Irish are indeed special people, as was my Mother.Marg and I are thinking of you in these troubled time and will pray the Ralph finds his special place in heaven. Donald Chisholm
- Donald Chisholm
Dear Margaret, I am so sorry to hear of Ralph's passing. I have nothing but good memories of working with Ralph and you in the construction trade. Ralph was always kind and cheerful. What a wonderful lie you had together. My deepest sympathies.
- Paula Webber
Margaret, we were shocked and saddened to hear of Ralph's passing. You are in our thoughts and prayers at this difficult time. With our deepest sympathies Bruce & June Steadman. Sending you virtual hugs.
- Bruce Steadman
My dearest Margaret. I send such heartfelt condolences in the loss of Ralph. It was such a shock You both have been such wonderful friends to my mum/dad and I feel so blessed to have you as friends myself. Ralph was the truest of gentlemen, kind and funny. I remember wonderful times at Tony River. Even though I moved away, I always made sure to keep up to date with your adventures through mum. My parents adored you both and were so grateful for your friendship. Remember Ralph is always with you and smiling by your side. Keep the memories close as they will give you strength during this difficult time. My heart aches for your loss. ❤️
- Sherri Hughes
Hi Margaret, so shocked & sad to see that Ralph has left us! I believe it was in the Canon Const. days that I first met the two of you then there was all those years with Quantity Surveyors, the Christmas parties, etc., etc. All the best to you from Norma & I as well as from the NSAQS family.
- Brian Chappell
I am shocked and saddened with the passing of Ralph. I met Ralph 40 years ago working at Major Brothers Insurance. He was a true gentleman with a sense of humor and we often chatted about travelling and ballroom dancing which always fascinated me. The world has lost a wonderful person and I extend my sympathies to you Margaret. Cherish the wonderful memories of your beautiful life together. Donna
- Donna Tandy
I am saddened and shocked to hear of Ralph's passing. I have known Ralph and Margaret most of my life and will remember fond memories in the dance world. Ralph had a particularly dry and wonderful wit. I will send along condolances from mum (Ann Hart-McGrail) as she is unable to. Margaret, you have my heartfelt sympathy as you were both a match made in heaven. I will call and catch up soon. Love 💔❤❤❤❤
- Jackie Hart Owen
Became acquainted with Ralph at Bedford Institute of Oceanography. Got to know him through my many moves there. When I retired Ralph wrote on my card, "Well Mike ,I guess we won't be moving you anymore" We both had a chuckle with that one. My deepest sympathies to you and the family.
- Michael O"Rourke
Dearest Margaret. My deepest sympathies for your loss. Both you and Ralph are such special friends to our whole family,who provided many memories for us kids.I will remember Ralph for his kind words,gentle demeanour and generosity that he shared with us all.Take care & stay strong.Love Dougie.
- Doug Anderson
I met Margaret Lynas at Mayflower Curling Club. She was the sweetest and funny person. She was a very good Curler. I must say I have never in my years read a more beautiful, poetic and love filled obituary. I thoroughly enjoyed all your voyages and episodes of travel and life.Thank you for sharing your love and tears to an retired lady.
- Gretta Morash
Our sincere condolences on Ralph's passing. We will miss his friendly smile, interesting chats and the way he had of making everyone feel at ease. We were so fortunate to have been one of the many couples introduced to the world of dance by you and many great memories, new friends and lots of laughs. Ralph always ended the sessions on a positive we would begin the last dance of the class he would smile and say, "this will be your bestest one".
- Bill and Barbara
Ralph was a good man.His goodness was evident in everything he did.He was our friend,we loved him and we will miss him,and we will carry him in our hearts forever.
- Bob rudderham
What a great story of a life well lived. Will miss seeing him in his usual perch in the lobby or basement of the building talking to everyone. Our condolences on the loss of Ralph
- Karen &Ken
We always said that we were on your Honeymoon with you as we crossed the Atlantic.It was quite rough once we were out in the Atlantic snd we didn't see a lot of you both.Apparently you were seasick!we parted ways but kept in touch.we got to visit you in Quebec and go to babysat and we were free to see Expo child free.I still remember Ralph showing my my first Microwave and marvelling at the speed at which it could cook.we were delighted when you returned to Brampton and enjoyed good times again showed your friendship by coming in the early morning to look after Stephen(a lively 4year old) when Lynn was born.You moved to NS and we kept in touch and even came to Caudle Park. Distance does not dim a good friendship and we have proved that.we will miss lots about Ralph,he was a gentleman,funny,loyal and always looked out for had 58 good years together which is more than a lot of people and I hope these memories will help.We will miss the phone calls from Ralph saying(What about Ye) and thinking about him when eating chip butties (with vinegar)we are glad you have many friends to help you through this and wish we were are in our thoughts snd in the other end of the phone day or night.LoveQueenie &Bill
- Queenie &Bill
To say we are heart broken on Ralph's passing is an understatement. We met Ralph and Margaret though dance class about 15 years ago and have had a great friendship. We were fortunate enough to travel to Northern Ireland with Margaret and Ralph and thus began our love of travelling. We loved Ralph's dry sense of humour and stopping by for a chit chat and a glass of wine. There are lots of Ralph stories that we have spoken about in the the last week.We will always remember dance class and Ralph wishing us luck that we end up with the same partner that we started the dance with, or when a dance move was just a quick stop. " no hanging around it is not a coffee break". We will remember our drives around the province as well as the meals we shared. When we eat fish and chips we will remember Ralph for his love of the meal as well as his take away doggy bags. Ralph until we meet again it was a pleasure to be your friend. Until we meet again. Cheers Kathy and Ross Levy
- Kathy and Ross
We moved into Caudle Park in 1968. A short time later Margaret and Ralph moved into the house directly across the street from us. Soon after becoming neighbors , we also became friends Over the next 40 years we shared numerous good times and had a few beers while doing so. To Margaret we say it is so sad to see that Ralph has passed and we are sorry for your loss. Be strong and stay safe.
- Bonnie and Don
Dear Margaret , we are so sorry to hear of Ralph's passing. He was a lovely man, so kind . We were honored and so fortunate to have had you and Ralph as neighbours for 27 years. We miss you dearly. I remember well all the times everyone would be out doing their gardening and lawn work that would turn into a visit or sharing of stories and experiences . It's just not the same without you both. Our thoughts are with you .
- Josee MacDonald
Margaret, we've had a condolence card sitting on our kitchen table ever since we found out about Ralph's passing. We just have't been able to find the right words to express how much both you and Ralph mean to us. We have so many wonderful memories, too many to mention really. We think of you both often especially when we see timbits (Ralph always brought them to Friday night dances), and also whenever we see Pepsi machines (those who took lessons at the Lions Den will know why). You both became part of our family, so much so, that we thought of you as "bonus' parents. You watched our children grow up, marry and have babies of their own. We will never forget Ralph's mischievious little grin as we chased each other around the dance floor. Although things won't be the same, I know we will move forward and continue to make more wonderful memories with you. See you soon. Love Bruce and Gwen.
- Bruce and Gwen
My condolences on the loss of Ralph. May the fond and happy memories help ease your sorrow. Ralph always had a smile and loved to tease with his sense of humour and I picture you smiling at him as he carried on. A life full of great memories, always in your heart.
- Christie Swain

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