Lewis Ringham passed away peacefully, at TBRHSC on Thursday, April 24, 2014.
Lew was born in Toronto, the eldest of two children of Florence and Norman Ringham. He grew up in North Toronto. The family attended St. Clement's Anglican Church during the '30s, where Lew found his first paying job as part of the 24 member Boys Choir ($2.50/mo + $1.00 weddings).
He attended Lawrence Park Collegiate. At 18 he signed on as a deckhand and spent two summers on a Shell tanker plying the Great Lakes. In September of 1942, he enlisted in the RCAF to train as a Radar Tech, and later re-mustered as an Air Crewman. He took navigation training in Winnipeg, and was ultimately deployed for additional training in England, Scotland and N. Ireland before returning to Canada in April of 1945. He capitalized on a Veterans Affairs offer of 1 month of university tuition for each month of military service, and enrolled in Forestry at the University of Toronto. A summer job timber cruising led him to Sioux Lookout, where he met his bride-to-be Grace Edye. They were engaged at Christmas of 1948, married in October of '49, and subsequently moved to Kenora where he began his career with Lands and Forests. Lew became Regional Forester in Cochrane in '56, Director of Timber Sales in Toronto in '59, and returned to the north as Regional Director in Port Arthur in 1964. He was appointed as the first Assistant Deputy Minister for Northern Ontario in the newly-minted Ministry of Natural Resources in 1973. He retired as ADM in May of 1980 and he and Grace remained in Thunder Bay until April of 1985 when they relocated to Bracebridge, Ontario.
Along the way Lew and Grace made many enduring friendships, both within and outside of the Lands and Forests/MNR family; and they maintained a broad network of contacts across the north, and in southern Ontario. They returned to Thunder Bay in November, 2009. During his retirement Lew worked briefly as a consultant, but found it interfered with golf, curling and travel. He served on a variety of public sector and industry boards, as well as being a life member of the Ontario Professional Forestry Association, and a member of the Bracebridge Library Board and a long-time volunteer at the South Muskoka Memorial Hospital.
Lew was predeceased by his parents Florence and Norman, stepson Brian, his sister Gloria (Goodwin), and his wife of 64 years, Grace in March of this year. He is survived by son Bill (Rev. Nancy) of Thunder Bay; daughter Barbara Ringham (Robert Urquhart) of Port Moody, BC; and granddaughters Amanda Ringham (Revelstoke); Casey (Rob) Jagosky (Huntsville) and Kira Urquhart (Port Moody).
Funeral services for the late Lew Ringham will be held on Tuesday, April 29th at 2:00 PM at Sargent and Son Funeral Chapel, 21 N. Court Street with the Reverend Nancy Ringham officiating. Visitation for family and friends will be held at Sargent and Son for one hour preceding the service, which will include a Legion Tribute to a Veteran. A reception will follow. A spring interment in Sioux Lookout will occur at later date..
The family wishes to express their sincere appreciation for the compassion and support of the nursing and care staff on 3A at TBRHSC and at Isabella Retirement Living. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Thunder Bay Regional Hospital Foundation, the Alzheimer's Society of Thunder Bay or the charity of your choice. On-line condolences may be made at www.sargentandson.com
We offer our condolences to his family and ask for God’s comfort and assurance for those who mourn.