June 25, 1943 – June 24, 2019
Ralph was born in Clinton, ON, to Charles V. & Mary W. (Bell) Bennett. In 1944, they moved back to Claresholm, AB, where Mary’s family had lived since 1906. While growing up, he was involved in Air Cadets, taking piano lessons, and became a Queen’s Scout. During the summers, he worked on ranches in the foothills he loved. Ralph spent two years at Royal Roads Military College in Victoria, BC, where he met Sharon, his wife of almost 53 years, and they were married Aug 27, 1966. After obtaining a B.Sc. in Physics from UVic in 1968, he taught in their physics labs before being hired at Malaspina College in June 1970. Much of the initial lab equipment he designed and built from scratch, since the college didn’t have much funding for capital expenses. From 1970 until 2005 when he retired, he taught physics labs, which he loved to do since he could work one on one with his students. He also taught Engineering Drafting, and in the early 1980s, he instructed in the Energy Technology Programme.
Ralph loved the natural creatures and beauty of their acreage purchased in 1981 south of Extension Village, and designed and built their home based on passive solar design. On Redmond Farms, he worked alongside his children Elaine and John with their business of raising chickens, turkeys, and pigs for meat. He enjoyed the grandchildren- spending time woodworking the old-fashioned way with no power tools, and making chocolates, apple juice, and jam.
Ralph went home to his Heavenly Father on June 24, 2019, in the Palliative Care Unit at NRGH. The family gives many thanks to the staff there and to Dr. Kristy Williams.
Ralph is survived by his wife Sharon; daughter Elaine (Andy) Bradshaw and children Stephen, Julie, Nathan, and Belinda of Nanaimo; son John (Kim) and son Liam of Prince George, BC; older brother John in Elk Point, AB; his in-laws Dick and Heather Morton, Victoria, BC; and Tom and Adell Thomson of Gainesville, TX; as well as many first cousins in BC and AB.
A Celebration of Life with reception to follow will be held at 1:30 pm, July 27, 2019, at Bethel Pentecostal Church, 1149 4th Ave, Ladysmith, BC. Condolences can be offered at First Memorial Funeral Services (www.mem.com).
In lieu of flowers, donations in Ralph’s name can be made to charities very dear to his heart: University Christian Ministries (UCM) [20411 Douglas Crescent, Langley, BC, V3A 4B6, call 604-533-2232 or online www.joinucm.org – specify “Joel Hampson.”] and Loaves and Fishes Food Bank [210 Fry St, Nanaimo, BC, V9R 4Z1 or online www.nanaimoloavesandfishes.org].
First Memorial Funeral Services
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