With great sadness we announce the passing of Ralph Crawford on September 28, 2021, at the age of 94.
Since there will be no funeral service or eulogy please let us share a little of Ralph’s story.
Ralph was born on February 8, 1927, in Athabasca, Alberta. He was raised at Calling Lake and on June 18, 1949, he married Lucy Camuso in Toronto, and brought her back to her new home. They raised a family of six children, 4 girls and 2 boys.
His occupations involved designing, setting up, operating and logging at sawmills, commercial fishing, grader and school bus driver and Sport Hunting Guide. Together, he and Lucy owned and operated Crawford’s General Store and Service Station at Calling Lake, Crawford’s General Store in Fort Assiniboine, and 2 Commercial Fish Plants at Calling Lake.
Through the years, Ralph and family lived in Athabasca, Edmonton, and Fort Assiniboine, but the Lake kept Calling him home.
Ralph had a love for the outdoors – hunting, camping, friendly campfires and FISHING. Countless hours were spent on Calling Lake in his boat in summer and ice fishing shack in winter.
He enjoyed music, especially old time fiddling. In his early years he played the guitar, mandolin and fiddle. Later loved to cook, smoke fish and socialize with family and friends.
For health reasons in 2006, Ralph and Lucy moved to Athabasca and Ralph took care of Lucy for the next six years. Summers were spent camping at Calling Lake and of course, involved fish.
Ralph was a very strong man with a strong will; perhaps spirited by a Little Wife he dared not cross. She ordered him to “fight for his life” no matter what illness he was confronted with… and fight he did… survived four heart attacks, 26 years without a stomach or spleen due to 2 bouts of cancer, diabetes, spinal stenosis with surgery at 84 years of age, and a broken hip with 3 surgeries at 88 and 89 years old. This was not a complete list. We called him the Miracle Man!
In December of 2015, in spite of his efforts, his broken hip confined him to a wheel chair and he moved into Athabasca Long Term Care where he lived until his passing. It became his home and he was grateful for it.
Ralph was a quiet man who listened to other people’s thoughts and respected their opinions. He had a great knowledge of many different topics, loved watching the news, politics, cooking shows, discovery and history. He had a great sense of humour and could laugh at himself.
He leaves to mourn his children Theresa (Allan) Webb, Janet Crawford, daughter-in-law Donna Crawford, Ralph Ernest (Janie) Crawford, and Linda Crawford, as well as numerous grandchildren and great grand children, nieces and nephews, cousins and friends.
Ralph was predeceased by his wife of 63 years Lucy, daughter Shelley (Fred) Purdie, son Joseph Crawford, son-in-law Ron Schwaga, parents Stanley and Henrietta Crawford, sister Jean (Sarge) Bissell, brother Frank (Eileen) Crawford. He was also predeceased by his entire family of sister and brother-in-laws on his wife Lucy’s side.
On Ralph’s behalf, the family would like to thank the Athabasca Staff in all departments as well as the Doctors, who cared for him in the past 6 years (too many to name but you know who you are..). A special “shout out” to Dr. Mol who was his friend and his Doctor for many years.
Thank You to Dale and the Athabasca Community Chapel Staff.
A celebration of life will be held in the spring, with a location and date to be determined.
In lieu of flowers, a Memorial Donation can be made to STARS or the charity of your choice.