Project Description

Svatos: Ralph, Charles
May 26, 1932 – June 5, 2018

Ralph Svatos died peacefully June 05, 2018 at Continuing Care in Drumheller at the age of 86. Ralph was born May 26, 1932 at Bracken, Saskatchewan.

Ralph is predeceased by his mother Anna “Minnie” (Kleespies), father Frank Svatos, wife Verna (Ostrander), brothers Edward, Lawrence and Joe, sister Katherine as well as two sons Douglas and Kelly. Ralph is survived by his children Graham, Donald, Gary, Sandra, Jerry (Nancy) and grandchildren Ryan and Jessica. He is also survived by Verna’s brothers Nelson (Myrtle) Ostrander, Wayne (Hazel) Ostrander and numerous nieces and nephews.

Ralph had a rough beginning in life with his mother’s death when he was 3 years old. The family moved to Oyen during the economic depression of the 1930s to live with his Uncle Joe. From there Ralph
worked for Jim Hardy farming for many years while his father was working away as a carpenter throughout the Oyen area. Ralph started farming after purchasing land from Leo Owens and started a trucking business hauling grain, lumber, coal, livestock, and gravel. He met Verna Ostrander, a nurse in Oyen, who he married in 1956. Over the next 10 years, the couple had seven children while Ralph continued trucking and expanding his farm. The burden of supporting a large family forced Ralph to work very hard and learn how to get by with little resources. Later in life, he would often reminisce about his trucking days such as when his farm was hailed out and his 1956 Dodge three ton with a 354 Hemi saved him from losing everything he worked for. Ralph was a humble and honest man much like the many lifelong friends he had in the Oyen area. The Svatos family moved to Drumheller in 1972 where the kids attended school but continued to farm south of Oyen, eventually buying farmland in the Craigmyle area and farming both locations. There was always something happening at home where
everyone was welcome and usually there was extra kids around. Ralph and Verna enjoyed trips to Vegas and Reno as well as the occasional trip out to B.C. and Saskatchewan. As a farmer Ralph did not have many summer hobbies, but he enjoyed visiting with friends, attending auction sales and having coffee with the usual group at the Co-op and IGA in Drumheller as well as his friends at Yavis’s Restaurant and the Longbranch Saloon. Ralph was always happiest when walking into his wheat fields with heads of wheat going through his fingers, the combines running and the grain trucks full.

A memorial service will be held for Ralph at 2:00 p.m. June 23 at the
Oyen Seniors Recreation Centre, Oyen (219 2nd Street West) with lunch to follow.
MacLean’s Funeral Homes of Oyen are in care arrangements.