Shirley Ralphs

April 20, 2002

Ralphs – suddenly, in Wilmington, formerly of Woburn, April 20th , Shirley, beloved daughter of the late Robert and Jean (Kelley) Ralphs. Dear sister of Frank of Tewksbury, Roger of NH, Gene and John Ralphs and Patricia Nelson, all of Woburn, William of Lowell, and the late Robert Ralphs, Jr. Also survived by many nieces and nephews. Funeral from the Lynch-Cantillon Funeral Home, 263 Main St. (Rt. 38), Woburn, on Weds. April 24th, at 9:15 a.m. Funeral mass in St. Charles Church, 280 Main St., Woburn, at 10. Burial in Woodbrook Cemetery, Woburn. Calling hours Tuesday 4-8 p.m. Donations may be made in Shirley’s memory to United Cerebral Palsy, 71 Arsenal St., Watertown, MA 02472. OBITUARY:

Shirley Ralphs, a longtime Woburn resident who had recently moved to Wilmington, passed away suddenly at her home there Saturday. She would have been sixty-two years of age this week.

Born and raised in Woburn, she was the daughter of the late Robert G. and Jean J. (Kelley) Ralphs. She attended Woburn schools.

Born with cerebral palsy, Shirley led an active life and worked for many years as a security officer for Raytheon before her retirement. She made her home in Winchester and later Burlington before recently taking up residence in Wilmington.

In addition to her parents, Shirley was predeceased by a brother, Robert G. Ralphs, Jr..

Surviving are five brothers, Frank of Tewksbury, Roger of Franklin, NH, Gene and John, both of Woburn, and William of Lowell; a sister, Patricia Nelson of Woburn, and many nieces and nephews.

The funeral will be held from the Lynch-Cantillon Funeral Home, 263 Main Street, Woburn, on Wednesday, April 24th, at 9:15 a.m., followed by a funeral mass in St. Charles Church, 280 Main Street, Woburn, at 10. Interment will follow in Woodbrook Cemetery, Woburn.

Donations may be made in Shirley’s memory to United Cerebral Palsy, 71 Arsenal Street, Watertown, MA 02472.


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  1. Shirley was a tenant of ours for about 5 years. She was a wonderful person who loved her home and took great pride in herself and her apartment. She was a wonderful person and will be missed greatly. It was such a shock to hear about her death. She was the strongest person I have ever met and never let her disability interfere with her everyday life.

    You’ll be missed Shirley!

    Tim, Lynne, Jason & Robyn Beausoleil

  2. I was so sorry to hear of Shirley’s passing. I worked with Shirley at Honeywell/Loral in Lexington for several years when she worked as a Security Officer. Of course, this type of job required the completion of 30-40 minute rounds (or tours) throughout the building every couple of hours. When told of the requirements, Shirley took it on with determination – and a smile. As her immediate supervisor, we got to know each other on a close personal level and together we worked out a plan for her to complete the tours. The company purchased a “special order” sophisticated motorized chair and I remember when it arrived we were both excited about it. She was willing to give it a try … she would do whatever was necessary to get the job done. And I was just as determined that she would be able to do it. She worked tirelessly to learn the tour route while at the same time learning to master the motorized chair (no easy feat!) There was much to be learned… lots of post orders and special considerations, lots of things to juggle. Shirley’s positive attitude never wavered. She was truly an amazing woman. I lost touch with Shirley over the years, but her positive attitude, strength and determination are something I will never forget. Jennifer Rossignol

  3. I’m very sorry to hear of Shirley’s passing.
    I worked close with her for several years
    at Honeywell in Lexington in the 80’s. She
    was a srong willed woman despite her disability.
    She always put 100% into her technical work
    while she was there. She was proud and
    determined while undertaking all the daily
    routines that most of us take for granted.
    She stubbornly used those crutches right up
    until they pretty much forced her to start
    using the motorized chair. Sometimes I’d hop
    on the back and she would give me a ride down
    the hall. Much to the shock of some co-workers.
    I have not seen her in several years, but I hope
    she enjoyed the zest for life she showed me
    when I was a young technician.
    Brian Keesler, BAE Systems, Lexington.

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