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Date of Birth: June 6, 1966
Position: VP, Derivatives
How does one memorialize a loving son and brother, a loyal friend and a good colleague whose life ended so dramatically at such a young age?
Oh, we could have seen him during the 2002 Winter Olympics or during the spring 2002 Hockey Play-Off Season and the World Soccer finals; Canadian and/or German flags hanging out of his windows on Lexington Avenue & 26th, entertaining his American buddies and ribbing them; “We are going to beat you tonight!”
Serving Canadian and German beers & food, decorated with posters and flags of both countries, the place would be packed with his favourite friends.
His competitive spirit mixed with his impish sense of humour, would guarantee a great evening, regardless who would win.
Ralph had great friends and he was loyal to them. His childhood school buddies were in touch with him until the very. Ralph had planned to be in Ottawa on September 22, 2001 to be the Best Man for Mark and Fiona’s wedding, uniting the Three Musketeers; Mark, Martin, and Ralph once again.
He was my best “fishing” partner and he would schedule Father’s Day presents long in advance to ensure that we spent quality time together. One-on-one with Dad.
Or with Mom. Traveling on Mother’s Day to Cape
Cod in style. Just Mom and Ralph.
Planning with his brother Stephan in Washington, DC how to make special moments in the Gerhardt family even more special. No birthday, anniversary, or meaningful day in our lives would ever pass without at least a call. His almost daily calls would come from anywhere he traveled and always include, “I love you!”
He missed only one Christmas away from us in all these years.
Quality time was one of Ralph’s greatest gifts he was able to give to everyone he touched and gave it so lovingly; caring is what made him such a special person.
In the thousands of letters, calls, e-mails, and the many conversations we had since 9/11, friends remembering so vividly: his smile, his decency, his love for family and friends, respect for the elderly, and support for the young and helpless and not so fortunate.
His many talents, being able to fix things “Dad couldn’t”.
His love for animals and life in general.
Stephan, his older brother, said during the Washington, DC eulogy, “Ralph lived to live!”
His ‘Daredevil’ traits were mostly reported after they had taken place like his bungee jumping, cliff diving, deep sea diving, and his latest “achievement”, his Shark Feeder’s License. His love for the outdoors included downhill skiing, canoeing, camping, fishing, biking, and golf.
He loved to travel and always had a forthcoming trip. Sometimes I felt like his personal travel agent, but it was my pleasure. He loved cars, even at a very early age; I must have had the most washed car in the neighbourhood. His red BMW is now in the loving care of his brother, Stephan.
He loved New York! I think the attached picture taken on Ellis Island on Valentine’s Day 1999, kind of reflected his dream that one day he would live there and he will make it there! He was our best NYC tour guide since he biked every street in Manhattan.
We are grateful that Ralph was able to call us on 9/11, seconds after the first impact, confident that we would make it out. Not only he, but everyone else, too. We are certain that in the final moments of his young life, he was together with Linda Luzzicone, his colleague and girlfriend, hoping to the end that they and everyone else at Cantor’s office in Tower 1 on the 105th floor would make it!
We will miss this kid who brought us and the many people he touched, so much joy. We are lucky to have been able to share his young 34 years with him.
For more information, please visit: www.ralphgerhardt.com