Dr. Ralph William Shaw M.A.,
M.D., F.R. C.P.(C)
The family of Dr. Ralph Shaw is extremely saddened by his sudden passing on Tuesday, January 8, 2013 in his 78th year. Cherished husband of June for 45 years. Beloved father of Susan (Peter Norrie); Laura (Mike Robertson); and Andrew (Noura). Loving and wonderful grandpa to Siobhan and Richard Girvan, John and Alice Robertson and Nathan Shaw. Predeceased by his father Gordon, mother Margaret and older brother Douglas. He will be missed by younger brother John (Ilga) and nieces Sarah and Barb.
A Torontonian born and bred, Ralph spent his early years in the High Park neighbourhood where his father was the projectionist at the Brighton Theatre on Roncesvalles. At the age of 9 years, the family moved to the ''suburbs'' of Weston. An excellent student, Ralph graduated with honours from Weston Collegiate at the age of 16. He then completed all of his post-secondary education at the University of Toronto, including a B.A., Honours Science, in 1958; an M.A., Physiology and Biochemistry, in 1962; and an M.D. in 1964. Years of further specialized studies led to a long and distinguished career as a General Pathologist at the North York General Hospital (NYGH). During this period, Ralph held a number of leadership roles, including President of the Ontario Association of Pathologists and President of the NYGH Medical Staff Association. Ralph ''retired'' in 2004 from NYGH, but continued to work as a locum pathologist at NYGH and Humber River Regional Hospital up to and including the day of his death. One of Ralph's lasting legacies to his family and colleagues is an incomparable work ethic. In a career that spanned some 43 years, Ralph only took one sick day.
Ralph was a life-long sports fan and an avid lover of the arts. His support of Toronto's sports teams, in particular the trials and tribulations of the ''hockey'' Leafs (a phrase that he used consistently to acknowledge his support during his youth for the Toronto Maple Leafs baseball team), was unwavering. In addition, he enjoyed attending productions of the Canadian Opera Company (COC) to such an extent that he engineered his own operatic debut in the COC's 2007-2008 production of The House of the Dead as a supernumerary.
Many Toronto institutions and charities were the beneficiaries of Ralph's generosity and kindness. The NYGH Foundation was the primary recipient. In addition, he supported the COC, the University of Toronto and Timothy Eaton Memorial Church.
Engaged, argumentative, intellectually inquisitive until the end, Ralph leaves a void that cannot be filled.
The family will receive friends at the HUMPHREY FUNERAL HOME A.W. MILES CHAPEL LIMITED, 1403 Bayview Avenue (south of Davisville Avenue) from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m. and 6:00 to 9:00 p.m. on Monday, January 14. Funeral service will be held in TIMOTHY EATON MEMORIAL CHURCH, 230 St. Clair Avenue West at 11:00 a.m. on Tuesday, January 15. Private interment Mount Pleasant Cemetery.
If desired, donations may be made to the Dr. Ralph and June Shaw Family Endowment Fund at the North York General Hospital Foundation, 4001 Leslie Street, Toronto M2K 1E 1, 416-756-6944. Condolences and memories may be forwarded through www.humphreymiles.com.
Friday January 11, 2013
© Copyright 2014 The Globe and Mail Inc. All Rights Reserved.
The Globe and Mail, 444 Front St. W., Toronto, ON Canada M5V 2S9
Phillip Crawley, Publisher