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ROCKABAR — Ralph Rockabar of Tompkins, SK passed away at the age of 84 years in the family home in the Sidewood District on Friday, July 12, 2019, after a short and brave battle with cancer.
The youngest of 10 siblings, Ralph was born on July 6, 1935, and raised on the family farm in the Fox Valley district near the Great Sand Hills. He attended Earl Haig country school before going to school in Prelate. He then worked for local farmers and ranchers before moving to Moose Jaw where he worked for Canada Packers, Federal Grain and the PFRA.
On July 29, 1961 Ralph married the love of his life, Eleanor Demchenko in St. Mary's Anglican Church in Maple Creek. In 1963 they moved from Moose Jaw to Maple Creek to work on the Haigh Ranch and in 1970 moved to Etzikom, AB to manage the Peigan Ranch. Ralph's dream was to have a place of his own and that dream was realized in 1974 when they moved to the Sidewood District. Here he also worked for the Piapot RM as a grader operator for some years. But the job he loved the most was working with his cattle and horses, with family and a favorite dog to help him.
Ralph leaves to cherish his memory his beloved wife, Eleanor, and six children: Sharon (Steve) Klassen of Calgary, Karen (Dale) Gruza, of Warman, Clint (Tina) Rockabar of Regina, Dallas
(Chadd) Legros of Cadillac, Randy (Erin) Rockabar of Regina, and Brett (Corrie) Rockabar of Airdrie; nine grandchildren: Brady and Cole Gruza; Jesse and Levi Lamotte, Shaye Legros; Sam Klassen; Kaley, Abbey and Sarah Rockabar; and one great grandson Cohen Gruza; two brothers: Philipp (Bernice) of Weyburn and Clem of Leader; two sisters: Ann Bonogofski of Fox Valley and Helen Martin of Kamloops, BC; sisters- in- law Dallas (Merv) Tumak of Calgary, Marion (Dennis) Vath of Calgary, Marilon (Gordon) Meadows of Swift Current; and Mary Rockabar of Seven Persons, as well as numerous nieces and nephews. His brother-in-law, Nick (Della) Demchenko also passed away on July 12, 2019.
He was predeceased by his parents; father and mother-in-law; three brothers, two sisters, eight stepbrothers and two stepsisters; his brother-in-law Jim Demchenko and an infant son, Ryan David.
Ralph was a quiet, caring man who devoted his life to his wife and family. He never asked for much, but his one wish was to stay at the farm. This wish was upheld by his family and he was grateful to have them all by his side during his final days at home.
Ralph will be missed by many, but our memories of him will last a lifetime.