Sussex, New Brunswick -- July 31, 2017 -- A convoy of tow trucks rolled down the roads of Sussex New Brunswick, to celebrate the life of, and bid a final goodbye to tow truck driver Ralph Douthwright. Douthwright, owner of Ralph’s Auto Repair, died at 72 as a result of pancreatic cancer. He passed away at the Sussex Health Centre, surrounded by loved ones.
Tom Robinson, who grew up with Douthwright and organized the funeral procession of nearly 20 tow trucks, said that Douthwright was devoted to his job and the thousands of people he had hitched up and rescued over the past 34 years. “Ralph had a big heart and he was good to people he knew,” said Robinson.
Of the many tow truck drivers who attended the event were Bruno Therriault and Vernon Bishop. Similarly to Douthwright, the pair is often on call 24 hours a day, always ready to aid stranded drivers.
“We are all on a one-way street and all going the same way but some of us have got shorter routes than others,” Therriault, who works at Sunbury Towing, said.
“If you think of the times we left the dinner table to go on a tow because somebody’s keys were locked in and kids locked in cars,” said Bishop, who works at Vernon Bishop Towing.
A statement from the family described Douthwright as a man who loved his family, community and the towing industry. “His passion for all three were evident in his day to day life,” the statement read.
Douthwright’s son will continue his father’s business, helping those in need in the Sussex area.