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Obituary

MALCOLM RATCLIFFE (published on September 17, 2011)



MALCOLM RATCLIFFE November 1, 1936 - September 11, 2011 "Think not where glory first begins and ends my glory was I had good friends" -W.B.Yeats With deep sadness and heavy hearts, we, Clan Ratcliffe, announce the passing of our dear father husband, brother, granda and uncle. After a short illness, Malcolm passed peacefully at home with his loving family by his side. He was predeceased by son, baby James, birth mother Margaret Annie Ratcliffe, his father Samual Fitzsimmons, mother Kitty, sister Winnie, brother Shiny and sister-in-law Theresa Fitzsimmons. Malcolm's memory will be forever cherished by his wife of 53 years Maureen (nee Devlin), son Malcolm (Bonnie; Roisin, Conor, Eamon) and daughter Tracey (Ken), as well as numerous nieces and nephews. Born in Belfast, N. Ireland, Malcolm grew up during the Second Great War, often recalling in vivid detail the carnage and death it wrought around him. As a child, he excelled at the natural sciences, skipping school to roam the Divis Mountains where he studied nature in all her splendour. He was a lover of all God's creatures. He was a poet, philosopher, gifted artist and a skilled craftsman. Malcolm had a long varied career. He served his time as a marine engineer with Harland and Wolfe, Belfast. He then went to work at Michelin Tire, Malusk, NI. Shortly after Bloody Sunday, Malcolm and Maureen decided to leave The Troubles behind and immigrated with their young family to Canada, settling in Pictou Co., NS. It was here Malcolm found his one true home, working for Michelin at Granton, NS and spending his free time fly-fishing, hunting, or just hanging out with his work buddies. One of his most memorable moments was meeting and befriending the hermit of Gully Lake. Yearly trips ensued bringing Willard supplies for the winter. Malcolm and Maureen then moved to Winnipeg. Always the consumate renovator, Malcolm went to work for himself, enjoying many years renovating bathrooms all over Winnipeg. On a whim, while on a service call at St.John's-Ravenscourt school, Malcolm asked then headmaster, John Messenger, if he could find him a wee job tending flowers at the school; within the year he was hired as the school's head groundskeeper. He thoroughly enjoyed his job at St. John's and treasured his interactions with staff and students alike. Malcolm had a profound effect on all those he worked with over the years. He was a mentor, a teacher, a father figure, and most of all, a friend, always ready to lend a hand. Upon retirement, Malcolm enjoyed his time working in his lilly gardens, tending his orchids, traveling with his wife, teaching his grandsons to drive and helping his son build a new home in Green Oak, MB. Special thanks to Dr. James Honiball, the doctors and staff of CancerCare Manitoba, the doctors and staff of 7A West St.Boniface G.H. Thanks also to nurse Olga, Ela, all the Palliative Care team and Crysta and all the home care staff. To all those who helped us in our time of need, we thank you. In keeping with Malcolm's wishes, cremation has taken place. No formal service will be held. No flowers please. Donations may be made to Brain Cancer Research. ``From work should come experience; from experience should come knowledge; from knowledge should come wisdom; the art of wisdom is knowing how to use it to the benefit of everyone around you.`` -M.Ratcliffe.


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