It is with great sadness the family of Ralph Joseph Gautreau announces his passing on January 12, 2023, at the age of 85 in Saint John, NB. Born in Barryville, NB, Ralph was the son of the late Basile and the late Gertrude (Ross) Gautreau, and was the beloved husband of Deanna Gautreau (nee Blackmore).
Ralph will be sadly missed by his devoted wife, Deanna, and his four children, Kathy (George Cowan) of Bathurst, NB, Tony (DeeDee Eldridge) of Saint John, NB, Pam (Bob Huggard) of Bedford NS, Colleen (Paul Barry) of Rothesay, NB; nine grandchildren Matthew Cowan (Niki Blissett), Justin Cowan (Alyssa Russell), Nick Cowan (Krista Kelly), Luke Gautreau, Erica Gautreau, Kayla Huggard, Ben Huggard, Sam Barry, Simon Barry and nine great-grandchildren Charlie, Henry, Jack, Kennedy, Eadie, Sloane, Zavi, Mya and Cali. Ralph is also survived by his sisters Eva (late Norman Poirier), Elsie (late Regan Young), sisters-in-law Dorothy (late Perley Gautreau), Joyce Lumsden (Alec), along with many nieces and nephews. Aside from his parents, he was predeceased by his infant daughter Bonnie; brothers Peter, Norman, Len, David (Sharon), Perley (Dorothy), Arthur (Carol), Ernie; sisters Mary Agnes Hachey, Treva (Laurie Savage), Theresa (Harold), infant sister Louise, as well as sisters and brothers-in-law Burton and Alice Blackmore, Marge and Paige Corney, Florence and Fred Lumsden, Mary and Eldon Lumsden, Theresa Parsons and Gordon Blackmore.
Ralph and Deanna were fortunate to celebrate their 65th wedding anniversary in August 2022. Married at 20, he and his young bride had 5 children in 7 years. The couple moved from Barryville to Saint John where Ralph started his career as a truck driver with CPR Transport, then worked with Smith Transport and Roy’s Transport. He enjoyed both meeting new people and being alone with his thoughts. He had much to think about: world issues, politics, scientific discoveries and mysteries and of course, finding a way to build a perpetual motion machine to create free energy for all. He was a lifelong learner and interested in everything. He loved socializing with his family and with a large, close family, there were plenty of occasions to celebrate. He was an entertaining storyteller, and loved to sing with his family, especially around the many campfires and kitchen parties.
Dad could “fix” anything, not always in conventional ways, but he always got the job done. In fact, he and Tony, with many friends, built a house around a house. Although Dad loved his garage and doing things with his hands, he also loved to debate his point of view, so much so that if you finally relented and agreed with him, he would quickly play the devil’s advocate and start arguing the other side.
Dad was a man ahead of his time, always an environmentalist, forward-thinking, non-judgemental and most of all, kind; there was no one who met him who was not drawn to his contagious sense of humour and warm personality.
Dad marched to his own beat and was very pragmatic about life’s struggles. We -- Mom, kids and spouses, grandkids and partners, the 'littles,’ extended family and friends -- miss you already. You taught us so many life lessons but most of all how to find humour in life and to know what a father’s love looks like. Your brood of 30 and growing will honour your memory and legacy. We can already guess what you’re saying up there. Until we meet again.
Arrangements are entrusted to Fundy Funeral Home. As per his wishes, a private memorial will be held. If desired, donations may be made to www.fightingblindness.ca (for macular degeneration research call 1-800-461-3331), or a charity of the donor’s choice.