Ralph Sparkes

June 4, 1954 to January 15, 2023


It is with great sadness and broken hearts that we share the passing of our husband, father, grandfather and friend, Ralph Sparkes, aged 68, on January 15, 2023.  Ralph was diagnosed in 2020 with brain cancer and fought a long, hard, brave battle with his family by his side, especially his wife Marilyn.  They met at 15 in 1969 and Ralph knew then that she was the one he would spend the rest of his life with.

Ralph is predeceased by his brother Jim Sparkes and father Bert.

Left to mourn and keep his memory are his wife of 48 years, Marilyn, daughter Katrina, grandson Michael (Nikole Wallace), granddaughter Allison; daughter Heidi (Trevor Beliwicz), grandson Logan; his two hunting buddies Bo and Fudd; brother Cyril (Gloria), mother Hazel, and brother Keith.

Ralph will also be missed by his nephews and hunting and fishing buddies Darrin Sparkes (Lisa), Barry Sparkes (Meghan), and Chris Sparkes, nephew John O’Toole, thank you for the wild game, cod fishing buddy Todd Twyne; as well as many nieces, nephews, great-nieces and great-nephews – he loved them all.

Special thank you to the team at the Dr. H. Bliss Murphy Centre, Dr. Armstrong for helping us through the last 2 difficult years, and public health nurse Alicia Penny, for providing all the essentials needed to care for Ralph at home.  Thank you to the Palliative Care Unit nurses at the L.A. Miller Centre for the kindness shown to our family during our short time there.  Also to Judy Drover for always being there to sit with Ralph when errands needed to be run, everyone who took the time to visit or call, whether at home or the Miller Centre, Ralph enjoyed the chats.

Resting at Carnell’s Funeral Home, 329 Freshwater Road on Thursday, January 19 and Friday, January 20 from 10am-4pm, and 7-9pm.  Funeral service will be held from the Carnell Memorial Chapel on Monday, January 23 at 1pm with interment to follow in Mt. Pleasant Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, donations in Ralph’s memory may be made to Beagle Paws, the SPCA, or an animal charity of one’s choice.


Tower One Out.



10 a.m.-4 p.m. on January 19, 2023

7-9 p.m. on January 19, 2023

10 a.m.-4 p.m. on January 20, 2023

7-9 p.m. on January 20, 2023

Carnell’s Funeral Home
329 Freshwater Road
View on Map


1:00pm, Monday January 23rd

The Carnell Memorial Chapel
329 Freshwater Road
View on Map

Interment to follow in Mt. Pleasant Cemetery.


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Marley and family,
So sorry for your loss. My fondest thoughts. of Ralph are of school. he could be quite the character back then

by Carol Higdon Comerford

Marley and family,
So sorry for your loss. My fondest thoughts. of Ralph are of school. he could be quite the character back then

by Carol Higdon Comerford

Marylin and family. So very sad to hear of Your great loss. Having worked with Ralph for 20 plus years I had a great respect for him always.

I am so saddened to hear of Ralph’s passing. I am a teacher at Holy Heart and have fond memories of Ralph, most of which involve laughter. He was such a nice man. I also taught at O’Donel for a couple of years and had the pleasure of teaching Heidi, a hard worker, like her dad. I am sure you will miss him dearly. May the fond memories you have bring you great comfort in the days to come.

So sad to hear of Ralph’s passing. We still remember those Christmas Dances together with you an Ralph. Such fond memories. Our thoughts and prayers go out to you Marilyn and the family.

It is with a heavy heart that we learn of Ralph’s passing at such a young age. Our heartfelt sympathies go out to his loving wife Marilyn and Daughter Katrina, as well as his grandson Michael and granddaughter Allison and her family as well as his many, many friends and their families. We have known Ralph and his wife Marilyn and daughter Katrina for many years as they were always there to jump in and help whenever there was a need of help in the old days when our neighbourhood was just developing. (Farrell Drive and Evans Place) May God Rest his soul! Noel and Marilyn White

Marilyn and family,

Sorry to hear of Ralph’s passing. He was a sweet person and a joy to be around. Condolences to you and your family. You are in our thoughts and prayers. He may be gone from your eyes but never your heart.

Thinking of you all at this sad time.
Joan Whitten and family

I am sincerely sorry to hear about Ralph’s passing. If anyone deserved years and years of retirement doing the things he loved, it was him. I was a teacher at Holy Heart before and after he retired and I missed him as much when he retired as I loved seeing him daily. Always a smile, a joke or a drop of gossip! And he was always my hero when a live mouse was stuck to a sticky pad in my back room! He might have chased me around a bit while I screamed but he always got the job done!

I missed him then and I miss him now.
God Bless!

Leslie Kennedy (Third floor! 🙂

Sending condolences and much love to Marilyn and Sparks families on the passing of a wonderful funny and kindhearted human being , Ralph loved life and family with passion and left this world so much kinder and loved because of how he lived it. May the many memories that Ralph left behind of his laughter, his fun, his zest of life helped you all during this difficult time. He lives on in you all for love never dies . Hugs ❤️Always

Marilyn, Katrina and family,
I am very sorry to hear of Ralph’s passing. I had the privilege of knowing and working with him during my years at Holy Heart. He was a man with a huge heart and a never ending willingness to help others. No matter how busy he was, Ralph always took care of all
of us. He made us laugh every day and was loved by students and staff. He will be missed but never

Aunt Marilyn and family,
I’m so sorry to hear of your loss. One of my favourite childhood memories was when Uncle Ralf took us trout fishing in the summer of 76. Glad that we had the opportunity to become reacquainted in recent years. Uncle Ralf was always kind and generous and in good humour.

Condolences on the passing of Ralph.

We will miss you, Uncle Ralph. Always loved. “QUACK QUACK HONK HONK”

Sorry for your loss of Ralph we were long friends John and Sheila Coleman

Mike and Family
So sorry to hear about your pops passing. You and your family are in our thoughts. Sending sincere condolences.
Steve & Sheena

So sorry to hear about Ralph’s passing but thankful to Heidi for letting us know..I will certainly miss our chats at the Barbershop. My sincere condolences to the family.

So very sorry to hear of Ralph’s passing. I remember first meeting him many years ago when he worked in the boiler plant at the Littledale Complex. He was a great guy, with a heart of gold and a sense of humour that no one could match. He always had story to share or a joke to tell. It was an absolute pleasure to have known him. My sincere condolences to you, his family. Rest Peacefully, Ralph.

So sorry for your loss Margie.

Marilyn and Ralph were one of the first neighbors we met when we moved to their neighborhood in 2001. He was an amazing friend & neighbour. We have not been in contact as much since we moved off “the HIll” but I will never forget the kindness, friendship and support that they showed us over the years.

Marilyn, I am broken hearted for your loss but I hope you hold all of your many years of love & memories close to your heart. My thoughts and prayers are with you and the family during this difficult time.

God Bless

I will remember Ralph as a kind, fun, generous man who always took the time for a chat and was sure to leave a smile on your face. It was an absolute pleasure to work with him at Holy Heart. I’m very sad for the loss he surely will leave in the hearts of many.
Take care,
Janet Nixon

I worked with Ralph for several years at Holy Heart. What a class act! So kind and warm-hearted with a tremendous sense of humour as well. Many is the song we sung together at staff socials. My sincerest sympathies to you all.

I will always remember my first childhood friend, as children we spent a lot of time together. May your final journey be peaceful.

We are so sorry to hear of the passing of Ralph. We were there when Marley and Ralph met and we have such fond memories of both of you in those days so much love! It doesn’t matter how many years it was in between seeing you again it is always like we are friends! Ralph was always so funny and witty everyone always felt welcome. He will be greatly missed and we will hold on to the memories forever. Sending you much love Marley!

Katrina, so sorry to hear of your dad’s passing. Praying that your memories will bring comfort and strength as you mourn along with your family.

Thinking of you and family at this difficult time. Prayers and thoughts to you all.

Christine, so sorry to hear of your cousin Ralphs passing. The memories you have of time spent with Ralph will help carry you through the coming days of grieving.

So very sorry to hear of Ralph’s passing… we use to bump into Ralph and Marilyn at the annual Christmas party.. or at the Mall… Condolences to Marilyn and family..🤗❤️

Sorry to hear of Ralphs’ passing. Condolences to Marilyn and all his family and friends. We all hung out together when we were younger, laughs and giggles and stories and songs in the band years.. As in everyones life, we grow older and some of us part ways, some stay in touch, but Ralph was one of those guys you never forgot. The ear to ear grin, the big smile, the laugh till he had tears in his eyes. Ralph and Marilyn were inseperable, you saw one, you saw the other. Ralph was one of the best. God Bless his family and friends.

We are deeply saddened by the news of Uncle Ralphs passing. We will always remember him as a jolly character who loved life. Our deepest condolences to our Aunt and cousins and all other family and friends who knew and loved him. Thinking of you all❤️🙏

Ralph Sparkes met and exceeded Holy Heart’s tradition of hiring wonderful custodians.

Kind, humorous and hardworking, he was delightful to banter with in everyday interactions. Beloved by all members of the staff, some of us took to calling him “Sir Ralph” as he gallantly swooped in, time and again, to adjust a dodgy thermostat or smooth the edges of a sticky window. Our students, too, witnessed a man who took pride in his work and did so with the utmost respect from his colleagues.

Simply put, Ralph’s legacy at Heart was to make things better, day in and day out, for those around him. Such gallantry and good humour defined him.

My sincere condolences to his family and many friends.

Jeanne O’Brien,
former colleague

Katrina, I am sorry for your loss. Condolences to all of your family. May God watch over you during this difficult time.

“Tower one out”
“Copy that”

Love you uncle Ralph!
Miss you forever and a day

So sorry for your loss, my condolences to all.

Ralph was a wonderful, kind man who was always caring to everyone who crossed his path. He was surely missed by the staff when he retired from Holy Heart not too long ago. Condolences to his wife and children and to all who loved him.

My Condolences to Marilyn and her Family on the Passing of her Dear Husband Ralph ,My Thoughts And prayers are with you all At this Sad Time

Have great memories of Ralph at Holy Heart for many years. Always had a smile on his face! And such a sweet demeanour.. our condolences to Ralph’s family.
John and Debbie Pinto

Loves our Uncle Ralph!