1941 ~ 2021
It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of Ralph James Bateman on September 14th, 2021 at the Sussex Health Center with his loving sons by his side. Ralph was born on January 25th,1941 in Shediac Cape, formerly Bateman’s Settlement.
Ralph is predeceased by his parents, Harold and Mabel (Duffy) Bateman; brother and sister, Lee (Linda) Bateman & Dora Bateman. He leaves behind two devoted sons, Thomas (Jenna) Bateman & Liam (Jessica Clark) Bateman; siblings, Cecil (Noreen) Bateman, Myrtle Bateman, Noreen (Late Peter) Johansen & Della Bateman; stepdaughters, Ailish & Lacey; Grand-Children; and many nieces and nephews.
Ralph was a man that always had all the answers, and if he didn’t, he was willing to discuss it indefinitely until an answer was found, or you both forgot the question. In his 80 years, his thirst for knowledge drove him to learn as much as possible about every subject you could imagine. His skill with his hands drove him to become an expert at nearly every trade. Mechanics thought he was a mechanic, engineers thought he was an engineer, in his heart, he was a farmer. To him the meaning of life was simple, do what is right for the ones that came before, and the ones that come after. If someone is willing to learn, teach them, if someone is unable to speak, speak for them, if someone needs guidance, guide them, and protect those who can’t protect themselves.
People often remarked at the vastness of his knowledge, and he would say “intelligence makes things easier; knowledge makes things possible, and it’s not uncommon to see one without the other”. When his boys would ask him, “how do you know so much?”, he would smile and say, “it’s not that I know so much… it’s that you know so little”. When asked to elaborate, he’d explain that his point was, “there is no end to what you can learn. Every lesson builds on the last, and if you remembered that, someday your kids will ask you the same question”.
Ralph had a remarkable career and a list of accomplishments so long you could hardly believe he did it all in just 80 years. The effect and influence he had on so many of us will be passed along throughout generations of families, all over the Maritimes. He couldn’t help but leave a lasting impression on everyone he knew.
He was born in 1941 on the top step of his parent’s home in Bateman’s Settlement while his father was retrieving the midwife. He grew up helping his father run the farm and graduated from Moncton High School in June of 1959 and in 1961 he received his Teaching Diploma. He spent the following years teaching school to pay his own way through university where he studied Geology at UNB. In the summer of 1963, he was able to follow his passion and work in Cape Breton for one of his geology Professors. Later that same year, at the age of 22, his father passed away and he took on the responsibility of running the family farm. At which point he began helping his mother raise his younger siblings and any of the neighborhood children that wandered onto the farm; all while Supply Teaching and taking night courses at the Université de Moncton.
In the mid 60’s he became the night Supervisor at a campground in Parlee Beach and in the late 60’s, when his younger brother Lee was able to take over some of the responsibilities at the farm, he began working at a furniture factory in Shediac; which he soon found himself in charge of running for several years. Around ‘69 when the highway from Moncton to Shediac was being constructed, he bought his first dump truck and earned himself a contract. He then worked his way up to being the Dispatcher, in charge of all trucks for all Provincial jobs for the Provincial Department of Highways. All the while he’d been running the family farm alongside his brother Lee.
Around 1980, he started his own company, Acadia Fencing (better known as Round Holes in the Ground) with the help of his lifelong friend Brian Murray. He built his company up to the point that in 1986-87 he was the main contractor responsible for the construction of the Renous Penitentiary. In 1987 he met the love of his life Yvonne Madden, he vowed to help her raise her two girls, Ailish and Lacey, and they were married in the fall of 1988. Yvonne soon gave birth to their first son Thomas (1989), followed soon after by the birth of their second son Liam (1991). At this time, he was also caring for his elderly Uncle, Mike Duffy (Uncle Mike) from whom he inherited the responsibility of a second family farm, the Duffy Estate.
He spent his later working years assisting in the operation of a dairy farm on the outskirts of Sussex and working as a Heavy Equipment Instructor at the Atlantic Transport Training Academy (ATTA). His students, as a sincere thank you, awarded him with a gold painted shovel, which they all had signed. He eventually wore the paint off because “it was a good shovel”. He was fortunate enough to be invited to come work alongside his two sons at a gold mine in the Yukon owned by Tony Beets. He told Tony he always wanted to visit the Yukon and Tony told him, “do it now or you never will”. Ralph agreed; Craig Paul (former ATTA student) and Ralph’s temperamental hound dog Titan, made the cross-country trip in a dodge camper van. Once there he rebuilt starters and repaired everything and anything, as well as explored old mines and abandoned equipment with his two sons.
In his “retirement”, if you could call it that, he spent his time in the woods of both the Duffy and Bateman farms, teaching his sons and nephews the fine art of maple syrup production. As well as constantly playing with old tractors. He spent many hours on the phone with loved ones, helping them through a tough time, giving advice or helping them solve some type of problem, be it mechanical, psychological, or otherwise. He was the one you’d call, and that lifeline will be greatly missed by many.
Somewhere along the lines he found the time to be an Instructor at the Memramcook Institute as well. An avid hunter, and father to a lot more than just the boys he raised. It is an understatement to simply say that he will be missed…
Donations can be made to the Cancer Society or the Sussex Health Center. We all appreciate everything that was done to assist him over the years.
Visitation will be held at 1pm, September 26th, 2021, at St. Martin-in-the-Woods Anglican Church in Shediac Cape. An outdoor Funeral service will follow at 2pm.
The family invites you to sign an online book of condolences at: www.funerairepassagefuneral.ca.
Funeral arrangements under the professional care of
Passage Funeral Co-operative and Cremation Centre
3754, Route 134, Shediac Bridge, NB, E4R 1T3
Tel: (506) 532-1050