You knew where you stood with Ralph Shute because he would either meet you with a smile or call you a moron.
Above all else, he was a kind man with a purpose. Those who have met him, remember not only his generosity, but also moments that make you chuckle and shake your head.
If you couldn’t find him, he was probably at work. And rightfully so, as he had 11 children. With five girls and six boys, the man had many to provide for.
So where can you find Ralph?
Ralph would be gone before the kids woke up and home after bedtime—six days a week. He was a hardworking man who took pride in his work, working as a longshoreman for 45 years in Halifax, Nova Scotia. He was dedicated to his family, and his wife, Mary, who held it down at home.
On his day off, you would often find him working on the house, asking for “help”, although most times, he would end up just doing it himself. You would somehow find yourself holding a board steady for him, helpless, only for him to come and push you out of the way. He was a perfectionist and would marvel at the imperfections of his construction. “Hey! Come look at this—look at how f***ing crooked that is!”
Every summer, he would often take his family to the cottage and stay there for a month or so, commuting two hours to work each way. He loved taking the kids water-skiing, boating, and apple picking, despite catching the odd rotten apple in the thigh after getting caught in the crossfire of a rotten apple fight.
He spends his remaining years at the cottage, lakeside, with his wife Mary, tinkering around the cottage.
A man with a quiet interior and a depth that he kept to himself, Ralph Shute was no moron.
#MEMOIRMONDAY by Nicole Shute
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