Harry Ralph Keyes

Harry Ralph Keyes, a lifelong resident of Winchester, although he resided in Welland for three years, then at the Orchards Retirement Residence in Vineland, Ont. for the last six months (with his cat Davi) which he really liked, and where his daughter, Marg and her family, had the privilege to take good care of him. He was happy and very appreciative, but his heart always remained in his hometown of Winchester.

He was born on Sept. 12, 1929, and passed away peacefully due to complications of Influenza, on Tues., Jan. 2, 2018. He was predeceased by his cherished wife of 64 years Helene, who passed away on June 8, 2017. He is survived by his children, Valerie (Gerald) Baldwin, Margaret (Rick) Smith and Paul (Cynthia) Keyes; and grandchildren Jason, Lisa, Clarence, Bridgit, and Caleb. He was also a great-granddad. He leaves behind his brother, Robert (Bob) Keyes, who resides in Prescott. 

As Dad had requested, cremation has taken place and come nice weather Harry and Helene will be placed to rest together forever in Maple Ridge Cemetery. 

One of his favourite sayings was “I’d rather be boating.” Dad had a real passion for boating and was Canadian champion in his speedboat class in 1957. The racing days didn’t last much longer once Dad’s family started, but his love for boats continued. He bought an old houseboat and kept it beside our green house on Caleb St. in Winchester where he worked on it until it was ready to set sail. Our family spent many weekends at Johnstown Marina on the boat. As the family grew older the houseboat was replaced by a larger new boat where our parents enjoyed many weekends with their friends from Winchester. The last boat Dad owned was with his brother, Bob. It was a beautifully restored wooden Chris Craft. Dad and his brother enjoyed many outings together on it. 

Dad also had a real love for music. He had a large selection of albums and CD’s, which he shared with friends and family. Dad could also play the piano. At all family celebrations we would gather together around the piano with Dad playing and singing anything and everything he could play. The Tom Jones song “The Green, Green Grass of Home” was one of our family favourites, and always brought a tear to Dad’s eye.

It’s good to touch the green, green grass of home. Yes they’ll all come to see me, arms reaching smiling sweetly. It’s good to touch the green, green grass of home. Yes they’ll all come to see me in the shade of that old oak tree as they lay me neath the green grass of home.

You’re finally home Dad!

Rest peacefully knowing that you are loved and missed by your family