January 17, 2022
May 1, 1932 – January 17, 2022 In her 90th year, after graceful acceptance and a short bout with leukemia, the woman known to all as “Ralf” passed peacefully while a raging blizzard paralyzed her beloved Toronto. She would have appreciated the poetry of it. Fifty-two-year spouse to the late Leslie Lowcock (d. 2003), inspirational mother to Leslie, Vincent, Michael and Christopher, and devoted mother-in-law to Karen McQuade and Julie Stanfel, she will be dearly missed by grand daughters Tallie Garey, Myles Garland and Caleigh McQuade, and cherished nieces and nephews. Born in Toronto to Sicilian immigrants Nino (d. 1965) and Rose Giglio (d. 1984), Ralf was the youngest of four, preceded by Vincent (d. 2008), Angie (d. 1982) and Mary (d. 2016). She spent her first 12 years in Toronto’s west end before moving to Kingston Road in the upper beaches. Such were the times that her parents weren’t aware Lake Ontario was a short bike-ride away, which Ralf, always an adventurer, discovered in due wide-eyed course, beginning a romance with a part of the city that would centre her social life. She attended Malvern Collegiate before joining the workforce. She held several clerical jobs before joining her two sisters at Currier & Smith. As a teen, she attended dances at the Balmy Beach Canoe Club, where she met many of her lifelong friends. As someone who loved learning and lamented having to leave school, she would take many night courses over the years in history, languages and literature. A gifted artist and writer, she once drew portraits at the Canadian National Exhibition for money and had her work published in the periodical Canadian Poetry. Ralf met her husband Leslie while he was playing baseball at Kew Gardens. He proposed to her outside the BBCC and they were married in 1951. She continued at Currier & Smith until joining Les at Key Advertising, the company he’d purchased from his uncle. They would work side-by-side for decades, building the company steadily, and Ralf eventually became President, with Les as CEO, before selling the business to Reader’s Digest. Ralf then became Managing Director of Pegatex Inc., a subsidiary of Reader’s Digest. With a proven passion for business, she served as president of the Woman’s Advertising Club of Toronto and started two other successful enterprises, R & L Direct Response and Raffael Gifts. Throughout their married life, Ralf and Les enjoyed travelling, and were particularly fond of Florida, where they purchased two time-shares on Longboat Key and enjoyed many trips before Les passed away. As their four rambunctious boys reached adolescence, they bought a cottage on Kashagawigamog Lake in Haliburton, which became the centre of the family universe, and a place for Ralf to pass on her love of reading, drawing, painting, and micro-exploring to her children. Throughout her life, she remained guided by a deep and enduring faith. After Les passed, Ralf enjoyed numerous adventures with her sister Mary. Returning to writing, she found kindred spirits in an online writer’s community through which she garnered enough confidence and motivation to write her life’s story, finished just days before her passing, to distribute to family and friends—a demonstration of the fierce determination she brought to all aspects of life. To all who knew her, she will be remembered for her great generosity and always supportive ways. Special thanks to the Malignant Haematology & Palliative Care teams at Sunnybrook Hospital. A memorial to celebrate her wonderful life will be held at a later date. Blood donations or contributions to the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society of Canada can also be made in her name.
May 1, 1932 – January 17, 2022 In her 90th year, after graceful acceptance and a short bout with leukemia, the woman known to all as “Ralf” passed peacefully while a raging blizzard paralyzed her beloved Toronto. She would... View Obituary & Service Information
Obituary & Service
May 1, 1932 – January 17, 2022
In her 90th year, after graceful...
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