Ronald Joseph Pumphrey

February 6, 1931 to January 8, 2019


“Hello me Lovelies and all the ships at sea”


Passed peacefully at St. Clare’s Mercy Hospital on January 8, 2019, Ronald Joseph Pumphrey originally of Harbour Grace, aged 87.  Predeceased by his parents Isaac and Mary (nee Fleming) Pumphrey, siblings Mary Fitzgerald (Desmond), Monica Benoit, baby Gerald, and the mother of his children, Nellie Pumphrey (nee Dwyer of Bell Island).  Leaving with loving memories, his wife Marilyn (Duffett); seven children: Heather, Ron Jr. (Pam), Nellie (Martin Oggesen), Stephen (Lucille), John, Shawn, Ian (Lucy); 18 grandchildren, 6 great-grandchildren; siblings: Sheila (Frank Mooney, predeceased), and Angela (Ed Houde), Anita (Jack Murphy, predeceased) and Gerald (Madonna); and brother-in-law Bill Benoit.

Cremation has taken place.  The family will receive visitors at Carnell’s Funeral Home, 329 Freshwater Road, on Saturday, January 12 from 2-4 and 7-9 p.m. Per Ron’s request, in lieu of flowers, “please treat a needy person or family to dinner”.


“Don’t think of him as gone away,

His journey’s just begun,

Life holds so many facets,

This earth is only one.”


“What a Wonderful World!”



2-4 p.m. on January 12, 2019

7-9 p.m. on January 12, 2019

Carnell’s Funeral Home
329 Freshwater Road
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So sorry for your loss all the best to you and the family Steve .rip Ron

Please accept our most sincere condolences. We always loved Ron and his stories, and have missed him the past few years at Pat’s. May he rest in peace. With Love to you and your Family.
Derek and Carolyn Tilley

My sincere condolences to you and your family. You and I taught school in Labrador City many, many years ago. I was checking the obituary notice for a next door neighbour from long ago and came across the notice for Ron. I do not know if you remember me.

Helen (Nellie) and Family,
So very sorry to hear about your Dad’s passing. Cherish the smiles and fun memories of Family gatherings, with your children and beautiful grands. Keeping you in my prayers always my sweet friend.
Suzanne (McGrory) Baxter

Marilyn and Sean, my heartfelt condolences to you and yours on the sad passing of Ron. You are in my thoughts and prayers.
Much love

Just remembered as Ron was The Voice of the Common Man that there’s a composition by Aaron Copeland” Fanfare for the Common Man”
Bob MacLeod

Marilyn ,
So sorry to learn of Ron’s recent passing. He made his mark in this world by all who fell under his spell. To you I extend deepest sympathy on your lost in which we all share.
God Bless you and give you strength at this difficult time.
Bob MacLeod

Dear Marilyn and Family, – especially Heather and Nelllie.

Please accept my warmest condolences at this time of loss for you. Though I couldn’t visit with you, I have been thinking of all of you at this time.

Very sincerely.

We are sorry to hear of Ron’s passing. Ron, You had class.

Marilyn, and Family

I would like to express my sincere condolences.

Sending heartfelt condolences to you in the loss of the NL legend that is your Dad.
Madelyn (Finlay) St. Croix

I’m very sorry to hear of Ron’s passing. Sending my condolence’s to the family.

I am so sorry to hear of his passing. My condolences to all. He was a great man of strong character. I consider myself privileged that he called me his friend.
Cabbage rolls will never be the same !. God bless Ron.

Steve and Lucille and family

Sorry to hear of your loss. My thoughts and prayers are with you.

Sincerest condolences to you Ian on the loss of your father. Thinking of you.
The Nolander family.

Heather I am so sorry for the loss of your dad. It is never easy to lose a parent but I hope with time your many fond memories will help to ease your pain. Your dad was a true treasure in the province and will be remembered by many of us. I am thinking of you and praying for you and your family. God bless.
Harriet Short(nee Smith a Holy Heart friend)

Ron loomed large in our little house on Kenmount Road. There could be no bigger star in the firmament. Mom and Dad thought highly of him and that trait was passed down to my brother and me. When I was 16 I nervously asked Ron to record some bits to be played during a show I was putting off at the LSPU Hall. He gave me all the time in the world and made each bit better as he went. I very much enjoyed all of his books and records, but there was no better ‘show’ than to simply chat with the master raconteur. My deepest sympathies to Marilyn and the children.

He always told me I’m A Ron too,so many fond memories of Ron and Marilyn eating at the cafe just socializing with the customers and having a laugh.Was so surprised when they bought me back a hand carved wooden spoon from Mexico. A very special soul and feel so special to have shared time together ,Marilyn wish I could be there to offer my condolences in person but myself and Michelle are certainly there with you in spirit,just the same as Ron will be for sure.A fine man for sure and feel blessed to call him my friend. Hugs

Dear Marilyn,
There are no words to explain how much both you and Ron mean to me. I cannot believe we have lost Ron, but somehow, I hope not forever. I am greatly sorry for your loss and understand how much it must truly hurt you. Ron was the kindest and most charismatic person that I had the privilege to meet in my lifetime. He was truly loved and respected by all. I cherished the memories of us having laughs together and solving all the world’s problems.
He will always be missed and my sincere condolences to you and your family.

L/Cpl. Marilyn Pumphrey,
My sincerest condolences to you and your family on the passing of the dearest of friends in Mr. Pumphrey , a public man and truly the Voice of the Common Man. I know you will continue to honour his memory through your music as you continue to give, give, which he did so admirably over his lifetime. May he Rest in Peace
J.A. Heffernan ( Colonel ) M.S.M., C.L.B.

Heather, I was saddened to hear of your dad’s passing. His large personality and recognizable voice are woven into the colorful fabric of Newfoundland’s culture. He has not gone.
My warmest regards,
Lorraine Brown (CNA 1993)

To add my sincere condolences on Ron’s passing. He was one of a kind and I always enjoyed the chats we had over the years. His genuine interest in the welfare of others will be his legacy.

Ted Rowe

To Heather, Marilyn and Family

It is never easy to say good bye to a love one-no matter how old or sick.Heather I know you were close to him,I also had a really good Dad and lost him a few short years ago.It is surely comforting for you all to know that Ron had such a good life- with a large loving family- your memories will give you peace( and probably a lot of laughs) in the days ahead.The memories other people have of him will continue to amaze you and give even more strength over time..It was nice to meet him with Marilyn and Heather at their homes when he was alive and well. A life well lived for sure!
Sincere condolances to Marilyn ,Heather and family , Susan Jamieson

To the Pumphrey Family & Marilynn,

Our deepest sympathy in the passing of a truly outstanding man & Newfoundlander!
Ron touched so many lives over the years & helped so many people along the way!
Even with his passing he still reaches out to the disadvantaged by suggesting a meal for the needy… truly amazing!
I trust he will have a great send off!

Peggy Beresford & Jim Reimer
Calgary, AB

growing up as a kid ! can ya remember hearing you on the Radio ! Thanks for the great humor ! RIP God Bless

Who did not listen to MR RON PUMPHREY open line show ,he certaintly had that free flowing voice of a radio guy, loved to listen to him in my early days, we lost a good VOICE, rep. for N.L. MAY YOU REST IN PEACE, GOD BLESS!

Sincerest condolences on the loss of a fine man and a good friend. Our friendship dates back to the 1940s.
I will miss you .
Mike Jackman.

We will always be brothers, in this life and the next.Just rest!
To your entire family,remember your dad fondly.
Marilyn,remembering your time together will help you in your grief.
Our thoughts are with you all.
Gerald and Madonna

Deepest sympathy to the Pumphrey family on the passing of your much loved and well known father. No doubt he is now sharing his humor, love of life and stories with others who have gone before.
Rest in Peace Ron. Just the mention of your name will always bring a smile to many faces. WE ARE ALL HUMAN BEANS!!!

Steve, Nellie, John. My thoughts are with you all. I still remember hanging out in your house on Wicham Place and getting into trouble as all pre-teens did. Also, making a few dollars delivering the “Town Crier” around the sub-division and that VW Bug are also strong memories. Your large family is a blessing at this time. Very sorry for your loss.

It’s sad to hear of Ron’s passing, and we are so sorry for your loss. Our thoughts and prayers are with you at this difficult time.
Wayne & Carol

Sorry to hear the sad news about your father, Heather. He had a long and colourful life and a great empathy for others. May you and the family circle have peace and consolation in happy memories at this special time.

Ian & Heather McMaster

Dear John,
We are so sorry to hear of your dad’s passing. May you find peace and strength to get through this difficult time. The many stories that you will hear will certainly lighten your heart and put a smile on your face. Take care.
Mabel and Rob

Our deepest condolences to Ron’s family. I will miss knowing he’s not there to call when I go home. Great memories I will always have from the pleasure of knowing him. Donna and Don Downer.

Stephen, Lucille and family, So very sorry to hear of your father/father-in-law’s passing. May you find comfort in the Legacy that he has left behind, it speaks volumes. May the lifetime of memories fill your heart.

Thinking of you Marilyn. So sad to hear that Ron has passed away. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. xoxo

Marilyn and family, so sorry to hear of Ron passing our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.

John and family,
Our province has lost a true icon but more importantly, you’ve lost your dear father. We’re sorry to hear of his passing and send our sincere condolences to all your family. May your memories bring you comfort in the days to come.

Merrill and Karen Hoddinott
Bell Island

So sorry to hear of your Dads Death.A wonderful Family man.
My first job at fifteen was looking after Ron and Nellies Five Beautiful Children, which l enjoyed.
Deepest Condoliences at this sad time.

I was very fond of your Father and what a beautiful man he was. I hope you feel surrounded by much love at this difficult time.

My condollences to the Pumphrey family,

Ron was certainly the best Openline moderator that Newfoundland radio has ever had. He always dealt with matters while on a call. I remember Ron phoning many government ministers directly to settle things for people. Rest in Peace and rise in Glory.

My deep condolences on Mr. Pumphrey’s passing. I met Mr. Pumphrey 60 years ago when I was 7 on Bell Island. My friend, Donna and I were walking home from St. Edward’s Academy at the Front when some boys started throwing fire crackers at us and wouldn’t let us pass. Mr. Pumphrey picked us up and bought us home. We both lived on Lance Cove Road. The next week Mr. Pumphrey had an article in the Bell Island Reporter about the incident which I memorized and still remember to this day. I always thought he was a great man for helping us.

Hello to all the Pumphries,
I have many fond memories of our times on Wickham Place and of the entertaining times of interacting with your dad in your home. I’m so sorry that I was not in contact when your mom passed away. To Ron Jr., I made several attempts to contact you while in the Northwest Territories from 2014-2016, but with no success. I’m currently at my daughter’s home in Alberta. I very much would like to re-connect with you- we have a lot of catching up to do. My email address All the best,

Darroch Vokey

Dearest Marilyn and to all of my cousins and families,

My deepest and heartfelt condolences to a dear Uncle. Ron’s life was a life well lived with passion, conviction, and vigour. Newfoundland has lost a son and voice of the people. Rest in peace. It’s well deserved. My condolences on behalf of my clan; Michelle and Vincent.

— Nephew John V. Pumphrey
[currently serving in Afghanistan]

Dear Marilyn and family,
Our sympathy goes out to all of you.
Ron’s passing is a sad moment for Newfoundland and all of us who knew and loved him. He was one of the true “characters” of our time, always larger than life, even in recent years when his health was declining.
Ron was one of the few public figures who could tackle a lie head on and remain on good terms with his adversary.
We can hardly believe that we won’t see Ron again, but our family, along with most Newfoundlanders, will always remember him for the patriot he was.
John and Magda Moyes and family

Dear Steve, Shawn & family,

Please accept my deepest condolences on the passing of your father. Know that you both remain in my thoughts and prayers during this difficult time.



A true Newfoundland treasure. Ron you lived a “Wnderful Life” indeed. God be with you on your journey home.

Marilyn and Heather,

Ron was one of those few larger than life individuals who add so much to our society.

Ron’s contribution was always positive, building and adding, and supportive. While we shall all miss his presence, we really hope you have considerable wonderful memories of Ron to help you through this particular time.

Thoughts and prayers are with you.

Tom and Maureen

Marilyn, I am so sorry that Ron has ‘gone on to new adventures’, it is hard being left behind. My deepest sympathy to you, Heather and the rest of the family.
His quick wit will be missed by many. When you can I would love to hear from you again. LOL

So sorry to hear of Uncle Ron’s passing. He had a rich and fulfilled life. My thoughts and prayers are with you all during this time.

Marilyn, we are so sorry to hear of Ron’s passing. He was such a kind gentle man. He gave me lots of good advice when I worked with him at QRadio (Village Voice). God bless you all at this sad time and remember all the good memories you have of him. Rest in peace Ron.
Jeanette &Tom Hollett

Ron was one of a kind and will be greatly missed as a “soul-mate” and Human Bean!

Our deepest sympathies to the family.

Marilyn and family. Ron may have passed from here but will NEVER be forgotten. A truly Giant of a man was Saint Ronald. A privilege to call him friend. Cal Sparkes

To Marilyn and all of Ron’s family So sorry to hear of Ron’s passing. He was a kind man who gave generously of his time to help those in need. His time on radio brightened everyone’s day! Even his obiturary was cheerful to hear his familiar greeting. A true Newfoundlander who will be missed. Sincerely Max & Phyllis Beckett (from Gower Church)

May you meet many friends as you travel the rest of the way Ron. Always a pleasure to meet you whether we agreed or disagreed and always parted as friends. Terry Whelan.

I was blessed with the pleasure of being invited into Ron’s home in Quidi Vidi a few years ago. I had just read his book Proper Gander a memoir and had learned so much about the way my father had perhaps also grown up. Ron remembered my Uncle John as they were about the same age. At the time I just wanted to let him know how thankful I was to meet him and what a pleasure it was to read his book because my dad never talked about his life on Bell Island. Thank you, Marilyn, for that wonderful day.

May God hold you all in His ever loving arms now and always.

With deepest sympathy, Kimberly Myers-Schuh

I knew Ron, Ron’s children and Marilyn through Heather. Ron always took time to talk to me and showed me kindness at every turn. He always seemed to have a good story to tell! I learned of his fame though his books and stories from his children. He struck me as a `man of the people.’ I will miss him.
Mark Tate

Ron was the first person I’d met that I’d consider ‘Larger than Life’. My earliest memory of Ron Pumphrey, or as my mother always called him, ‘Ron Humphries’, was when I went to VOCM (next door) to meet the diminutive French Canadian wrestler Little Beaver. Once I also sang ‘Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star’ to win a flipper pie … my first time on air. Ron would often come to the house, and I remember one particularly spirited New Year’s Eve when he and Dad went out to stop traffic and wish drivers a Happy New Year. Once, while doing a magic trick, the old ashes on the arm revealing a name bit, he briefly caught the wall on fire. Later in life I helped produce one of his shows and he wrote a very nice letter on my behalf to management. Whenever he released a book he made sure my parents had a personalized copy for me. His album, ‘Ha, So You Sleep On Your Belly, Eh, Baby?’ was by far the spiciest thing in our home … until he dropped by himself. Thanks Ron. Condolences to Marilyn and the family. Mike

We are so sad to learn of Ron’s death and so sorry for you loss dear Marilyn and all the family. We will miss him too.

We were very lucky to be able to call him our friend and confidant.

Gareth & Lisa.

Marilyn, we are saddened to hear of Ron’s Passing! Enjoyed many conversations and laughter with him over the years. We know that many great stories involving Ron will be shared as you Celebrate his life with family and friends in the coming days,
Blessings, Doug and Jean

Marilyn, Ron was truly a man for his time. I will never forget his sense of humor, kindness, love of life and larger than life personality. May your happy memories keep you smiling until you both meet again.

A Newfoundland icon has said goodbye; my deepest sympathies. While Ron was long gone during my stint at VOCM, his legacy was prominent.

Dear Marilyn, my prayers and thoughts are with you as you go forward without your best friend.

Marilyn & Family;
So very sad to hear of Ron’s passing. His legacy will carry on forever! Ron was a dear friend of my Uncle Tony Murray & I was fortunate to have been in his company to enjoy great stories and fun.
May the wonderful memories you shared help you through this difficult time.

God Bless

Rest in Peace Ron

Stephen and Family,
Words can not express how deeply sorry I am to hear of your fathers passing.
Hold tight to his memory for comfort, lean on your family and friends for strength, and always remember how much your Dad was cared about.
Sending love and sympathy.
Yvonne Soulier Murphy

So sorry for your loss, My prayers go out to your family in this sad time.

Steve, and members of the Pumphrey Family, So sorry to hear of the passing of Ron. He was known by many and will be remembered for many of his undertakings, achievements and good deeds during his lifetime. Our thoughts and prayers are with you at this time.

I knew Mr pumphrey when I was young on bell island .then through my dealings in the printing industry .then later his son bought my cabin. I have the upmost respect for him and never will be forgotten by me. A real gentleman. From George Perry

Violet and I have some very fond memories of Ron and Marilyn as we worked together at the Salvation Army in the early 1980’s. His compassion for the vulnerable and marginalized was very obvious as he served at the Salvation Army Haven of Hope on Springdale Street. It was a real pleasure getting to know Ron and Marilyn and we often think back to those experiences. Ron lived to make a difference in the lives of others. Undoubtedly he will be missed. Our prayers are with Marilyn and all the family during these days.

Shawn and Family,
What a wonderful legacy your father leaves….
Take comfort in all the beautiful memories and in each other, during this very difficult time.
God bless,
The Cumby Family

Marilyn and family, so sorry for your loss. You know how I felt about Ron, and it’s been quite a ride for these forty years! I was blessed to know him as a mentor, colleague and friend. You are in our thoughts and prayers.

my condolences to the family I’m very sorry to hear about your father passing away I hope that everyone is doing all right take care of yourselves

Simonjay, Heather, and families: I’m so very sorry to hear of your grandfather/father’s passing. He was a wonderfully charming and knowledgeable beyond measure. He will be missed by many far and wide.

Marilyn and family so sorry to hear the news today that Ron has passed away my sympathy to all his family and friends .May he rest in peace and rise in glory.

Heather, please accept our deepest sympathy upon the passing of your father. Celebrate his life!

I am so grateful that I talked to you and Ron, just a few weeks ago. I guess it was meant to happen. Mom always talked about Ron when talking about my Fathers death. He would come to the house to talk to my father while he was dying at home. He was a very kind hearted man.. My condolences to you and the Pumphrey family. He will be missed.

So sorry to hear this news. A wonderful human being, filled with love and life. He once gave me a piece of advice which I took and it changed my life totally.

To Marilyn: I know you have lost the love of your life in physical form but we both know he will live on in your heart.

Dear Marilyn and Family,
We share your grief tonight as we learn of Ron’s passing. In remembering him, we know for certain that Ron gave his friendship freely….. always. And those on the receiving end, were the better for it.
It has been said that the true measure of a man is seen in how he treats someone who can do him absolutely no good -in how he treats his inferiors, not his equals. In that light, Ron Pumphrey was the Full Measure of a man.
Our deepest condolences.
Avrum and Eve

rest in peace my friend I will always remember you as a very dear friend.I thank you for who you were. R I P. Shirley.

Dear Members of the Pumphrey Family: We send our sincerest condolences as we remember a long and fruitful life. Ron exemplified compassion and was an exceptional entertainer. His gifts were many and he shared them with all Newfoundlanders. He lived and breathed the spirit of Bell Island and Conception Bay and was an inspiration. Requiescat in Pace.

Peter and Hilary Neary
London, Ontario

Dear Lucille,Stephen .Marilyn and family.. I am so sorry to hear of Ron’s passing. Today is Elvis Prestley’ s birthday the King of Rock and Roll. Ron was a King of the airwaves for sure .He was kind to many people and had a way of making us smile.. I am currently away but my prayers and thoughts are with you all. God Bless!
Rose Ann Evans