Gloucester — Ralph William Drinkwater Jr., 61, husband of Judith Smith Drinkwater, died at home, on August 12, 2013, after an eight-year battle with splenic lymphoma. He was born April 26, 1952, to parents Ralph W. and Anne L. of Beverly, and spent most of his life in the “Farms,” until moving to Gloucester in 2006. Ralph was a 1972 graduate of Beverly High School, and enlisted in the 110th Army National Guard, serving as a truck mechanic from 1972 to 1978. For many years, he worked in the family owned business, R.W. Drinkwater Construction Company, Inc., with his father, Ralph, and brothers, Allen and Paul. He began his own business, R.W. Drinkwater Construction, in 1994, that specialized in excavation and heavy equipment.
Although he was not a member of the Manchester Men’s Club, he was a regular attendee with his father. He raved about the food and enjoyed socializing with the members, who either cooked, served, or were there to socialize and listen to the invited speakers.
Ralph spent his free time with his family, and enjoyed spending time at their home on China Lake, where many happy memories were made.
Besides his wife of 32 years, he is survived by his two sons, Jeffrey and his wife, Lisa, of Essex, Mass., Andrew of Gloucester; his granddaughter, Gabriella, of Peabody, Mass.; parents, Ralph Sr. and Anne of Beverly, Mass.; two brothers, Allen and his wife, Patricia, of Beverly Farms, Paul and his wife, Jayne, of Hamilton, Mass.; a sister, Nancy Haggstrom and her husband, Robert, of Beverly Farms; three sisters-in-law, Betsey Smith of West Hartford, Conn., Jane Christianson of Marshall, Minn., and Nancy Smith of Essex; and several aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces, nephews, great-nieces, great-nephews, and friends. He was predeceased by his brother-in-law, Roland H. Smith III.
ARRANGEMENTS: A celebration of Ralph’s life will be held at the First Parish Church, 10 Central St., Manchester-by-the-Sea, on Friday, August 16, at 11 a.m. Relatives and friends are invited to attend. Visiting hours will be at the First Parish Church, Manchester, on Thursday, from 4 to 7 p.m. Burial will be in the Beverly Farms Cemetery. Arrangements by the Campbell–Lee, Moody, Russell Funeral Home, 525 Cabot Street, North Beverly. Contributions may be made in his memory to support cancer research and patient care at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, P.O. Box 849168, Boston, MA 02284, or www.dana-farber.org/gift, or to Hospice of North Shore, 75 Sylvan Street, Danvers, MA 01923.
For information, directions, or condolences, please visit www.campbellfuneral.com.