Ralph (Rudy) Tomchak
It is with heavy hearts that we announce the passing of Ralph (Rudy) Tomchak on Sept 7, 2021, at Betel Home Foundation. He will be forever remembered and loved by his wife Gladys; his son Don; daughter Yvonne (Terry Belton); granddaughter Jenna (Joel Malmo) and great granddaughter Ulyana; daughter-in-law Michelle and granddaughters Rebecca, Sarah, and Alyssa. He is predeceased by parents John and Teckla Tomchak, sister Velma Perry of Texas, brother Edward Tomchak of Kansas, and his son Randolph (Randy).
Ralph was born in Gimli on May 18, 1931, and attended Willow Creek School during his youth. He grew up on the family farm with his parents and siblings, which was the land his father obtained when he arrived in Canada. Having been the only sibling to stay in Canada, Ralph worked and lived on this land his entire life. He had a deep connection to the Interlake area and community. He had a strong connection to the Kuz family, and they would refer to him as their brother.
Throughout his entire life, Ralph loved music. He learned how to play the violin at a young age, while later learning how to play the guitar and the mandolin. He played in a band and would often play various community events throughout the area.
Ralph’s musical endeavours were put on hold when he started working, beginning with fishing and a short time working in Toronto. It was at this point that he realized that he would rather stay in Manitoba and farm. He and Gladys were married on September 27, 1958, and they would welcome their children in the following years.
To support his family, Ralph worked multiple jobs. He worked for the federal government at the Gimli Industrial Park and obtained a water and waste engineering certificate at Red River College. He would finish his career by moving from federal to provincial government and working out of Red River College. On top of this job, Ralph was a full-time farmer of grain and cattle. Farming was not just a career to him; it was a love and a passion. Throughout his years, Ralph was always busy and working hard to tend the land, with his wife and business partner by his side.
After he retired, Ralph dusted off the violin and began playing music again. He would often be playing along to tapes in his home, as well as playing alongside his friend Andy Yablonski. He loved listening to “Saturday Night Polka Party”. He also had a special friendship with Terry Patterson and looked forward to his annual hunting trips.
Ralph was a hard-working man and would do many self-less things for his community, friends, and neighbours. He was very social and maintained a good relationship with the many friends he made throughout the years, often getting multiple phone calls during the day to chat. Ralph was also known for his sense of humour and wit. Not one to take himself too seriously, he would let his granddaughters do his hair for him. He also had a special connection with his dogs, especially his border collies Stanley and Walter.
The most important relationship Ralph had in his life was the one with his wife of 62 years, Gladys. He loved the life they created together on the farm. From the dances and suppers at the Fraserwood Hall, to just driving around the area to look at the farmland, they enjoyed doing the big and small things of life together. Their relationship was one of deep love, devotion, and dedication. Throughout their decades of marriage, they were true partners and always remained a united front on whatever life gave to them.
We would like to thank Dr. Ade, Gimli Hospital and the Betel Home Foundation staff for the care they provided during Ralph's stay. Your kindness during this time was much appreciated.
A private family funeral will be held at a later date at Sts. Cyril and Methodius Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, a donation can be made in Ralph’s memory to Cancer Care Manitoba or a charity of your choice.
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