Ralph Symonds

Obituary of Ralph Charles Symonds

Ralph Charles Symonds, age 94, passed away peacefully, lovingly surrounded by family on January 25, 2023, at Harmony Care Cottage.


Ralph and his identical twin brother Roy were born in Feb of 1928 to Maitland and Gladys Symonds and were raised in Keewatin, Ontario in a house on the Lake of the Woods, with older siblings Mildred and Gerald. Maitland was employed as Head Miller of Five Roses Flour and Gladys was a homemaker. Ralph and Roy were known for their mischievous pranks on neighbours and teachers. One such prank involved cutting down an evergreen tree in a neighbours backyard and dragging it around to the front door to sell it to the same neighbour as a Christmas tree. They were also known for switching places to fool friends and teachers.


At the age of 18 Ralph and Roy moved to Alberta, where dad worked at various jobs such as a ranch hand at Ya Ha Tinda Ranch. Dad finally settled in Edmonton where he met a spunky, petite hair salon owner, Fern Kroetch. Ralph and Fern married on March 29, 1956 and held a small reception in Fern’s hair salon. Three Children soon followed; Wayne, 1957; Evelyn, 1958; and Wendy, 1959. In 1964 Dad was transferred by Alberta Safety Service to Red Deer. When Alberta Safety Service closed their doors in 1966 Dad started working at Chrysler Canada. Soon after the family moved to Innisfail. Dad continued at Chrysler Canada for 25 years, retiring in September of 1991.


Dad was an avid outdoorsman. He enjoyed yearly winter hunting trips with Roy and a group of friends. He often came home with just a beard and a cold. Upon his return Dad would give us the remaining Oh Henry Bars and a whisker rub. Dad continued yearly hunting trips until his stroke in 2013. Mom and Dad also enjoyed fishing trips in Northern Alberta on their nephew Ken’s fishing boat. Mom and Dad raised and owned Quarter Horses and were very involved in various horse clubs. Later in life both Mom and Dad took up golf. They traveled around Alberta with their fifth wheel, golfing at different courses.


Mom and Dad were very involved with family, always supporting our activities, and educations, and this included frequent family vacations. Mom and Dad were thrilled when they became grandparents to Brittany and Michelle. They were equally involved with them, taking them camping, cross country skiing, and giving them horseback riding lessons. Fun times spent with grandpa and grandma included driving the golf cart around the acreage pasture and water fights. Family and Friends will all remember Dad for his “Storytelling”. Some of which involved a long winded story that ended with a joke punchline. He loved jokes, often sharing them by email.

Due to health set backs for both him and Mom, they were moved into a small private senior’s home in Red Deer. Dad and Mom enjoyed multiple weekly visits with children, grandchildren, and great grand-children.

Ralph will be lovingly remembered by his daughters Evelyn and Wendy (Michael); grandchildren Brittany (Chad) and their daughters Emerson and London Knowler, Michelle Longman and her sons Hunter and Carter Patterson; sister-in-law Dorothy Symonds; and numerous other family members and friends.

Ralph was predeceased by his wife of 63 years, Fern; his parents Maitland and Gladys Symonds; his son Wayne; his sister Mildred (Charles) Eaid; brother Gerald (Alice) Symonds and his twin brother Roy Symonds; nieces Mildred Lindley and Geraldine Pfaff; as well as his brothers-in-law Ken (Nellie) Kroetch and Bill (Henrietta) Kroetch.


Heartfelt thanks go out to the staff at Harmony Care Cottages for their kind and loving care of our dad.


An informal remembrance service will be held in the spring for both mom and dad. In lieu of flowers charitable donations may be made to the Heart and Stroke Foundation, the Alzheimer’s Society of Alberta, or to any animal rescue organization. Condolences to Ralph’s family may be emailed to meaningful@telus.net. Please indicate “Symonds” in the subject line.

As Dad would always sign off his e-mails, Catch You Later, RC.


Arrangements in care of

Meaningful Memorials Funeral Service

A locally owned cremation and funeral provider

serving Red Deer and all of Central Alberta


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