June 1925 – July 2022
We are saddened to announce the passing of our father Ralph (RW) Ritcey at Royal Inland Hospital this past July 24th. Ralph was predeceased by his parents, Percy and Greta and his siblings Mildred, Paul, Frank, Elaine, and Emily. He is survived by his wife Clara their children: Susan and Steve (Murray), grandson Aaron, Mike and Gail (Edgecumbe) granddaughters Sarah, Rosemary, Heather, Frank and Raven (McLeod), grandchildren Kyle and River, and Bruce and Anne (Rutherford) grandsons Brock and Jesse, along with great grandchildren Piper, Keith, and Jade Bear
Raised in Kentville Nova Scotia, he always had a passion for the great outdoors. After serving his country as a telegraph operator with the Navy in the dangerous Atlantic during WW2 he made his way out west to study biology at the University of British Columbia. From there he moved into the Upper Clearwater Valley (Wells Gray Provincial Park) and served as a Park Ranger and Biologist, studying and enumerating everything from moose, caribou and grizzlies, through to salamanders, grouse, and bats. It was here he met his wife-to-be, Clara Helset, and soon their family grew to include four children, a tame moose, and dogs too numerous to mention.
Looking to improve the educational opportunities for their young family, Ralph and Clara moved to Kamloops. Here Ralph worked as the Regional Biologist for the BC Government. Ralph was instrumental in bringing Bighorn Sheep to the area in the mid sixties and any of the sheep you see today whether by Tranquille, Sun Rivers or Cherry Creek, are descendants of those first sheep.
When not working he would be found in the great outdoors. An avid fisherman, hunter, canoeist, and cross-country skier, he revelled in the opportunities that the area had to offer. His passion for birding grew as he grew older. He and Clara travelled the world looking for new birds and natural places to enjoy. He was an active member of the Kamloops Naturalist Club, the Kamloops Fish and Game Club, and worked on many projects that benefitted the wildlife and wild spaces of the region.
He will be sorely missed by his immediate family and the scores of nieces, nephews, grandchildren and great grandchildren that knew and loved him.
In lieu of flowers you could make a donation in his name to the Kamloops Naturalist Club to be used for the wildlife viewing platform that will be built out at his beloved Tranquille Pond.Print This Obituary & Condolences