RALPH FEN, PhD, EdD
1927 – 2023
In his 96th year, on Sunday January 29, peacefully, at home, while holding Linda’s hand. Cherished husband of Linda Morganstein and Lillian, z”l, father and father-in-law of Andrew, and David and Lisa, respected Zaidy of Bailey and Dylan, step father to Dan and honorary grandfather of Lyndsay, Weston and Brooke.
Ralph was born in Glasgow, Scotland and, after serving in the British Army with the RAMC, Seaforth Highlanders Regiment, emigrated to Canada with his wife, Lillian. Here he honed his skills as a dynamic, inspiring teacher whose students still sought him out decades later. He was a gifted pianist who never met a piano he could resist, delighting bystanders with his arpeggios and glissandos on these magnificent instruments, from hotel lobbies and school basements, to concert halls and the Bechstein at Robert Lowrey’s.
He spent his Canadian years accumulating University credits, one by one, finally achieving his childhood dream of earning a doctorate – not one but two! – a PhD and Doctor of Education – after he turned 70! (At one point after this he was offered, and turned down, a music scholarship by Julliard and the Moscow Conservatoire to do a PhD on Rachmaninoff.) All this qualified him to be called an “Opsimath” – someone who does things later in life, as he would be the first to point out. Each thesis was written out by hand in elegant calligraphy with one of his many beloved fountain pens.
Ralph loved Haiku poetry, transforming the entire Torah into this fascinating Japanese form.
This elegant, sartorially splendid, fascinating man with the Scottish burr, “the Rogue with the Brogue”, was a man of many passions, a man who left his mark on so many. He will be missed.
Never was a man so loved by his wife, nor a woman by her husband…
Please honour his memory with a donation to:
* TEMMY LATNER CENTRE FOR PALLIATIVE CARE –Mt. Sinai
www.tlcpc.org , 416 586 8203
* THE ASSOCIATION FOR THE SOLDIERS OF ISRAEL
416 783 3053
* BEIT HALOCHEM CANADA, AID TO DISABLED VETERANS OF ISRAEL