Ralph G. Miles, 91, of Manchester and Bedford, passed away on Nov. 17, 2020 after a sudden illness at Villa Crest Nursing and Retirement home.
Born in Boston, Mass., on Oct. 30, 1929, a son to James J. and Christine (Murphy) Miles of Dorchester, Mass.
A self-made man, Ralph rose through the ranks to enjoy a fulfilling 38-year career with International Paper Company in Manchester on Hall and Hayward Streets, rising to become the Northeast Regional Plant Manager.
At International Paper, Ralph was respected for his working knowledge of the customers, understanding how the machines worked but more importantly knowing the names of all the plant employees, including their family members.
Ralph often returned to the office at night or weekends, endearing him to the workers with his work ethic, they never knew when he'd show up to check on orders or anything that was needed.
Ralph found great satisfaction serving on the board of directors at The Moore Center with its founder, Bev Arel, to provide services for those so deserving in need.
He easily befriended everyone one he met with a ready smile, handshake, a friendly greeting and a quick wit.
Weekends began with a Saturday trip to the Bedford dump with neighbor Fred Goode, which despite its close proximity always consumed three hours.
A devoted family man, he would take the family skiing, golf, took up tennis, and loved taking the grandchildren to the beach. He always had the toys and goodies the grands liked for any visits.
He was a weekly communicant at St. Elizabeth Seton Church in Bedford and the other towns in which he resided.
A self-taught mechanic Ralph's father proudly recalled how he successfully rebuilt a Packard as a teenager reportedly to a neighbor's great consternation.
At one point, Ralph considered buying a gas station as a good career and work on cars because he liked "meeting and helping people."
Ralph served for 10 years in the US Naval Reserve in South Weymouth, Mass., on airplanes. The Navy wanted his talents permanently, but he was ready to start a family with the love of his life, Claire Ann (Hagerty), who pre-deceased him in 1999.
His brother J.J., was a career Navy man who last served on the USS Boston CAG-1 that was ported in San Diego, Calif., and passed in 1992. He was also pre-deceased by a sister, Helen (Miles) Connor.
Ralph was always supportive of his family's activities, his six grandchildren, nieces, nephews, cousins, relatives and friends.
A longtime Boston sports fan, Ralph recalled taking a train to Braves Field (now Nickerson Field) to watch the Boston Braves (now in Atlanta) play baseball. He rejoiced when the Red Sox finally won the World Series, an event he got to witness at Fenway Park, several times after an 86-year draught.
A generous man, who enjoyed chicken tenders and merlot at the Back Room, it was not uncommon for him to grab the tab for a meal friends had invited him to attend because it was a nice thing to do.
He was a role model to all with his polite, modest, understated selfless old school ways.
He enjoyed reading, crossword puzzles, playing Keno on the Cape, a good meal with red wine and never met a scratch ticket he didn't win with.
Ralph and Claire raised three children, Gerry of Durham, NH; Jean A. of Skaneateles, NY and Janice M. Jennings of Darien, CT in their Bedford home before retiring to Hilton Head Island, SC after International Paper closed its Manchester plant. After Claire's passing, he returned to New England, settling in Brewster, Mass., until taking ill and relocating to Villa Crest in Manchester.
The family wishes to express its gratitude to the entire staff of Villa Crest, but especially to Malinda and Lily, Jane, Marie, Alexa, Heidi, April and Melissa for their good humor and sincerity for his care and well-being.
The funeral service and burial in West Roxbury, MA will be private at his family's convenience.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to The Moore Center in his name.
Lambert Funeral Home & Crematory, Manchester, is assisting with arrangements.
To send an online message of condolence, please go to www.lambertfuneralhome.com.