Ralph ‘the Sign Guy’ – June 10, 2019

Southampton has lost another of her ‘characters’ … those who make the community unique.  He was known as ‘The Sign Guy’.

To many, he appeared to be a ‘cantankerous curmudgeon’ (which I often told him) but, underneath the tough, rough exterior, I always thought he was a giant ‘teddy bear’.


The old saying, “never judge a book by its cover”, could not apply to anyone more than Ralph.  He sat for hours on ‘his’ bench at the bridge that crosses the Saugeen River in Southampton. There, he created and held signs that bore various slogans that he would hold up for motorists and passersby … some were prophetic, some were definitely political but all had an underlying sense of dry wit.   Each day, he would hold a different sign that made people, perhaps, think, and often smile.

He scooted around Southampton every day on his motorized scooter stopping and talking to anyone who would listen.

What few knew however, was that he was an incredible supporter of Southampton’s little public school, G. C. Huston.  He donated thousands of dollars to the school with little to no fanfare.  In 2014, however, Principal Dan Russell decided it was time to recognize the generosity of the man and a special ‘Spirit Assembly’ was held in his honour.  Ralph was thrilled, although he would never show it.  It was the one day however, that he could not hide his delight as his face lit up in a continuous smile when he was named a ‘Huston Hawk’, the school’s mascot name.

‘The Sign Guy’ will be missed as drivers turn to look at what the next sign will say … but it won’t be there – another tradition that is gone.

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Predeceased by his parents Wallace and Frances Dymer (née Sparks).

Visitation will take place at the Davey-Linklater Funeral Home on Tuesday, June 25th 2019 from 1:00 pm to 2:00 pm.

Final resting place, Kincardine Cemetery.