Wm Ralph Bullock
Passed on December 14, 2022
It is with great sadness and much love that we mourn the sudden and unexpected passing of Wm Ralph Bullock on December 14, 2022 at the age of 86 years. He will be deeply missed by his loving wife Jeanette; children Lois (Al) Guenther, Cynthia (Pat) Morrow, Bill (Sue) Bullock; step children Reg (Belinda) Walker and Katherine (Al) Dyne; grandchildren: Jason (Astrid) Guenther, Chris (Danelle) Guenther, Alysha Guenther, Bryan (Barb) Morrow, Nathan Bryan, Elizabeth Morrow, Kyle Sale, Cassandra Sale, Haley Bullock, Christopher Walker, Nicholas Walker, Justin (Melanie) Perras, Cody Waldron; and greatgrandchildren: Stella Guenther, Claire Guenther, Jacob Guenther, Zoe Guenther, Isaac Morrow, Levi Morrow, Beau Williamson.
On June 30, 1936 Ralph arrived, welcomed by parents William and Olive Bullock in Maidstone, Saskatchewan. Working on the farm from a young age instilled in him his strong work ethic, which he carried through the rest of his life. Dad went to Keyworth School from grades 1 to 8. This small country school was about 2 ½ miles from their farm homestead. On cold winter days they drove in a horse drawn cutter, in summer months he rode his favorite horse, Silver to and from school. He went to high school in Maidstone, by then Dad was 16 and drove the neighboring kids in a car. He was athletic and proficient in sports, winning many ribbons in track and field and played football in high school. During this time he developed a passion for HAM radio, which kept him up late into the evening, because that’s when the reception was best.
After graduating from high school, Ralph went to the University of Saskatchewan in Saskatoon, where he was awarded a Bachelor of Engineering in Engineering Physics in 1958 and a Master of Science in Upper Atmospheric Physics in 1960. While there he made life-long friends and met and married Irene Pearl Heinrichs. They moved to the north end in Winnipeg in the early 60’s. He fathered Lois and Cindy, and in 1968 moved his young family to St. James where they also welcomed William (Bill). Ralph and Irene were separated in 1989 and later divorced. In 1993 he married Helene Jeanette Walker, welcoming her children Reginald, and Katherine into a blended family.
Dad worked as an engineer at Bristol Aerospace, early in his career he travelled several times up north to Alert, NWT (NU), and Churchill, MB and to Wallops Island, Virginia, and Brazil sending weather balloons into the upper atmosphere. He worked on the Black Brandt IV and V rocket project in the early 60’s. Later, he was promoted into management and became the Vice President, Engineering and Quality at Bristol Aerospace and Vice-President, Environmental Affairs with Rolls Royce.
While managing a demanding career and family life Dad was also unselfishly and heavily involved in his community. He served as a long-time member of the governing council and the executive of the National Research Council of Canada (NRC), and was instrumental in the establishment in Winnipeg of the NRC’s Canadian Institute of Industrial Technology and its successor, the Institute for Manufacturing Technology. He served on a number of other scientific and technical organizations including Manufacturing Technology Service of the Canadian Manufacturers’ Association and, provincially, the Economic and Innovation Technology Council and Total Quality Manitoba Inc. He was also Chair of both the Defence Advisory Board and the Space Committee of the Air Industries Association of Canada. In 1997 he received an Honorary Doctorate in Science from the University of Manitoba. His most significant contribution to the University was establishing the University’s Institute for Technological Development. He was also instrumental in the establishment in the University of the highly successful and nationally recognized Engineering and Applied Sciences Industrial Affiliates Program. He was involved when Red River Community College seceded from the Province of Manitoba in 1995 and sat as Chair, Board of Governors of Red River Community College (now known as Red River College Polytechnic) through to 1998. He kept abreast of the many changes at the College over the years.
He enjoyed golfing and was a member of Breezy Bend Golf and Country Club. Curling was another of his favorite sports to play and watch. He was a member and became President of the Assiniboine Memorial Curling Club in 1978-1979 and chaired the 1991 World Curling Championships held in Winnipeg. A country boy at heart, he was the happiest spending time at his home north of Woodlands, lovingly referred to as “The Swamp”; it was there he retired in 1996. We fondly remember ‘cookouts’ at the shed prior to when the house was built. He continued with his hobby of HAM radio, his call sign was VE40G. Starting with one radio tower they quickly multiplied and became a family of seven. There were many ‘tower erecting parties’ where he applied his engineering know-how and we managed to put up 40-80 foot towers with a gin pole and a winch.
Cremation has taken place. A memorial service will be held on January 7, 2023 at 1:00 p.m.at Prairie Spirit United Church, 207 Thompson Drive, Winnipeg.
In lieu of flowers, if so desired, donations may be made to Diabetes Canada or The Kidney Foundation of Canada.
Jeanette - my heart goes out to you in the loss of your husband, and also to the rest of your families & loved ones, for each of their personal losses of Ralph. This written tribute was lovely. To read this gave me so much more insight into Ralph’s very interesting life and character! The few times I’ve met the two of you at home at the swamp - my memories of Ralph are that he was always smiling, lighthearted and so very down-to-earth. He was a real comfort to visit, with that easy-going feeling & great wide smile! Bill & Sue - I’m so very sorry for the loss of Ralph. I wish I’d had more time to get to know him better, to have more conversations with him. My deep condolences to your families and loved ones who will be missing the wonderful man Ralph was & will continue to be - carried forward through memories & love held especially for him. The service was a comfort, as well. A beautiful tribute to an outstanding man. Take good care. ~ Dianne Montague
I was very sorry to hear that Ralph had passed away. My most sincere sympathy to all the family. Ralph was always very kind to everyone. He was a natural leader and even in retirement seemed to always have new projects on the go. He could solve the most difficult problems with such interesting solutions! We enjoyed our time at The Swamp immensely.
Jeanette, my deepest sympathy to you and your family. Your loss will be shared by many. My best memories are without a doubt the many times we sat in your livingroom at The Swamp telling stories while enjoying food, drinks and laughter. Our last visit with you and Ralph was when we dropped in to give you your 50/50 winnings. Though it was a short visit those memories are still with us. Thanks to both you and Ralph for your hospitality and happy memories. He will be missed.
I remember Ralph as a young engineer , recently graduated and my Dad who was then , I think, VP of the Rocket Division at Bristol, invited him for dinner at our home . I was a very impressionable teenager who thought this young man was something special and obviously Dad did too, as Ralph was his first hire. The next time I saw him he came to dad's funeral and stood in line at St. Charles just to say something to my sister and me. That was in 2004. He was quite a gentleman . I send my sympathies to his wife and family.
I enjoyed working with Ralph when he was President of Assiniboine Memorial Curling Club. Deepest sympathy to his family. Walter Wolfe Past President AMCC 1982-1983
I dealt with Ralph over a period of several years during my time in the Canadian Forces dealing with programs on which Bristol provided multiple services. I always enjoyed my dealings with Ralph, he was great to deal with. I extend my sincere condolences to his family and friends.
I was employed at Bristol from 1980 to 1994, in various positions in the Engineering Division; Ralph was Vice President, Engineering throughout this period. For the last several years I reported to Ralph directly, and we developed an excellent relationship. I learned a lot from Ralph, he was a man of vision who did more for the growth of Bristol technical capability than any other individual . My sincere condolences to Jeanette and all members of his family. Cliff Squires in Nanaimo BC
Our sincere condolences to the Bullock family. Ralph was a Life Member and supporter of the Manitoba Amateur Radio Museum Inc. (MARM). A silent key is a term of respect for a deceased amateur radio operator. The key in the term refers to a telegraph key, the instrument that all early wireless operators / amateur radio operators, as well as many contemporary amateur radio operators have used to send morse code.
Bruce Johnson, VE4KQ, president of MARM Inc.
On behalf of the AMCC Past Presidents I extend my sincere condolences to Ralph's large family and friends on his recent passing. Admittedly I wasn't aware of his very accomplished time on earth until reading his Obituary(what a great photo !) Ralph's contributions to the AMCC, over many years, are very commendable and acknowledged in his selection as one of the few Lifetime Members. On a personal note I recall that Host Committee Planning meetings, which included Ralph, were always completely focussed on the task at hand and very productive. Interesting to note the reference to Alert, NWT where I spent a lot of time over the years. Out of respect for Ralph, I have encouraged the presence of "purple" Past Presidents' jackets at his Memorial Service.
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