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A Tribute to Merle and Ralph

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S: Merle & Ralph

BC: Another Beatitude by Elizabeth Clark Blessed are they who understand my faltering step and shaking hand. Blessed are they who know my ears today must strain to catch the things they say. Blessed are they who seem to know, my eyes are dim and my mind is slow. Blessed are they who look away; I spilled my tea on the cloth that day. Blessed are they who, with cheery smile, stopped to chat for a little while. Blessed are they who know the way to bring back memories of yesterday. Blessed are they who never say "You've told that story twice today!" Blessed are they who make it known that I'm loved, respected and not alone. And blessed are they who will ease the day of my journey home, in loving ways.

FC: A Tribute to Merle & Ralph

1: Merle & Ralph on their wedding day (1954) | Parents "As children we can't comprehend or fully realize the meaning of our parent's love, how tender and how wise, the patience and forgiveness that are part of every day, the unexpected "little things" they do in their own way. Years go by before we can look back on life and see through older eyes and wiser hearts their love and loyalty, and yet it's these and other special things we'll hold so dear, for memories of their steadfast love will keep them ever near."

2: Ralph | Ralph

3: Like branches on a tree, our lives may grow in different directions, yet our roots remain as one.

4: Merle's Memories

5: "We always had great times with Ralph and Merle. Merle would lead us in line dances. She was a real party gal, and so were the Lind guys." Joyce (Tkach)

6: Ralph 1955 | Eunice, Henry, Merle, Tim, Wayne and Ross (early, 1950s) | Merle, Ralph, Gramp & Nanny (1950's) | Tim, Merle, Wayne and Ross (1950) | Merle (1956) | Merle on vacation (1959) | "Some people weave burlap into the fabric of our lives, and some weave gold thread. Both contribute to make the whole picture beautiful and unique."

7: Nanny, 1959 | Nanny, 1954 | Tim, Ross & Wayne (1954) | Merle & Ralph "Hippies" (1968) | Nanny, 1964

8: Ralph, Dixie, Donna and Merle (Christmas, 1963) | Ralph's office, 1961 | Christmas 1963 | Ralph & Merle, 1961

9: Ralph & Merle, Columbia Ice Fields, 1961 | Merle, 1959 | Merle, Ross and Ralph at Kelowana, BC, 1975

10: Ralph with his grandson, whom he loved to talk about! Two generations of handsome Lind guys. Joyce (Tkach) | Ralph and Merle stopped in at our house on Christmas Eve. Paul was looking more at the tree than Ralph and Merle! They stayed and had dinner with us that evening. We always enjoyed their company. Joyce (Tkach) | Merle, having a chat with Joyce's sister, Vicki. Merle was always full of fun; we all loved her and she was a joy to be around. | One story I'd like to share with you is a party. We decided to have a leg wrestling contest to see who would win. Merle was winning the contest, however, in her enthusiasm, she accidentally caught her earring on an opponent's pant leg, and ripped her earring from her earlobe! She wound up in the emergency ward for stitches, and when the doctor asked what happened, she replied, "Don't even ask!" Merle was a real trooper, and we enjoyed all the great times we spent together. Joyce (Tkach) and Family

11: We met Ralph and Merle in Edmonton while we lived on 107A Avenue. In 1972 we moved to Kelowna and the Linds also made their home here shortly after. Our family spent many wonderful fun, filled days with Merle and Ralph, boating, water skiing on Okanagan Lake, and enjoying picnics in secluded bays. In 1974 Ralph and Merle, the Hushagen family, and our family went to Spokane for Expo '74. We had a great time. After walking around the Expo grounds all day long, we could not resist to soak our tired feet in the fountain. Later when Merle and Ralph moved to Penticton we were visiting back and forth and we stayed in touch after they moved to Red Deer. They will forever be fondly remembered by our whole family. Joe and Agnes Tonhauser Rosemarie and Doug Walter and Gary

12: When a father gives to his son, both laugh; When a son gives to his father, both cry. | Ralph & Ross (Jasper Park, 1956)

13: Ralph and Ross (Jasper Park, 1956) | Summers in Penticton, Delicious Navy Bean Soup, RV trips North, South, East and West, Grandpa's tools are in my workshop, With all my love, Jay

17: Auntie Merle and Uncle Ralph are firmly woven into the fabric of my life and that of my family. Auntie Merle was the slightly older sister of my mother, Eunice. They were as different as can be, but as close in heart as two sisters could be. It gives me joy to know they are reunited, probably laughing and talking, maybe even dying their hair a vivid purple once again. As far back as I can remember our families shared adventures and mis-adventures together. As young cousins, Ross, my brothers and I tested our parents as we used eggs for target practice and even set a prairie fire. Auntie Merle was an extraordinary athlete. As a teenager I was thrilled to spend a week visiting in Edmonton. Auntie Merle and I golfed every day, but were sure to be home in time for Uncle Ralph's dinner after a long day of plumbing. One summer I decided to take my children, Mike and Jane, out to Penticton to spend time with Auntie Merle and Uncle Ralph. As usual, their hospitality was unbounded. While making dinner one night, Auntie Merle sliced her hand and required stitches. I dutifully cleaned up the kitchen and tucked away the leftovers. They always reminded me of the incident; if you listen to their version of the story, I had virtually wrapped the whole kitchen in plastic wrap. Not long after Lois and I were married we journeyed to Penticton for another visit. More golf with Auntie Merle, lots of cards and laughter and old time hymns on Sunday morning with Uncle Ralph. When Auntie Merle and Uncle Ralph moved to Red Deer, our opportunities for visits were more frequent. By then Kirsten had arrived and she also loved them deeply. Auntie Merle celebrated Kirsten's curly blonde hair and, of course, cherished her blue eyes. Uncle Ralph won Kirsten over with his cooking -- mock apple pie was one of her favorites. We were able to return some of their hospitality as for a few years they would come to Calgary and spend a weekend with us. Again, more adventures. We took them to a Cannons baseball game and had arranged for a welcome message on the scoreboard. Trouble was, it was bucketing rain -- so much for the surprise. We had to tell them why we were hanging around trying to dry ourselves with napkins meant to wrap around hot dogs. Well, we did see the welcome message and then headed home. We kept finding Cannons napkins in our pockets for days! In the later years, visits could be difficult, but the joy in Auntie Merle's eyes when she saw us made us realize how important it was to stop in. Holding hands and sharing Timbits were the highlights. Uncle Ralph was always ready for a visit and enjoyed sharing a bite of lunch with us. It is hard to say goodbye, but Auntie Merle and Uncle Ralph lived and loved well. We will treasure them always and will cherish our memories of happy times spent with them. Lovingly submitted, Tim, Lois, Mike, Jane and Kirsten Lawson

18: Great Auntie Merle | Great Uncle Ralph | "A trip to Heritage Park. Uncle Ralph was feeling young and volunteered to go on the tilt-a-whirl with Kirsten. After the ride he was feeling more green than young. Both Auntie Merle and Uncle Ralph enjoyed listening to Kirsten playing her flute. When she would practice after dinner they would race to the living room to listen to her play while Lois and I did the dishes." Tim

19: I can't say enough about these wonderful people. I remember going to Red Deer with JoAnn and Ross on our way to or from the Lind Cottage. Bill and I spent the night in their lovely home. They treated us with the warmest of hospitality. We ate, laughed and went site-seeing. Had a great time! In 1992 they attended our family reunion in our back yard. I remember how well and happy they both looked back then. We were so happy they could be with us, as they were visiting JoAnn & Ross at that time. We will always remember them and the fellowship we shared. Millie and Bill Webster

20: Lind Family Reunion, 2000

21: Other things may change us, but we start and end with family.

23: Mom and Ross dancing Family Reunion - 2000 | Merle & Ralph doing "the Chicken Dance" Family Reunion - 2000 | Left to right: Ross Lind, Merle, Tim Lawson, Eunice Lawson, Mary Hamilton, Larry Hamilton

24: The last time I saw Ralph and Merle was when they were in Wpg and I went over across the river where they had their camper and I had lunch with them. Actually, it was the best I ever saw of Merle looking so good. I talked to Ralph three years ago when I was in Red Deer for Lance's wedding. Never heard from Ralph or Enid after that! On an early visit to Crossfield we were all going to Airdrie. Ralph and I were singing "Roses are Blooming" one of the cowboy songs of the time. I think we drove everyone nuts then. I always liked Ralph. Dorothy Graham | This is Christmas, 1956. The people around the table with first woman on left - Dorothy Graham... person not clearly visible but probably Aunt Enid... Mom... Uncle Louie... Uncle Tom... Uncle Bob... and Gramp's back.

25: Merle and Emolin at Jay's 30th birthday celebration | Ralph & Enid Reeve at Jay's 30th birthday celebration | Tom Reeve and Ralph at Jay's 30th birthday celebration

26: four generations | "In every conceivable manner, the family is a link to our past, and a bridge to our future."

27: Merle shoveling dirt to bury a Time Capsule (2000) -- to be opened in 2025 by Jay Lind. | Merle holding Emolin Lind. Taylor Williams is in background.


31: Our most treasured family heirlooms are our sweet family memories.

32: Merle's 90th birthday | Happy Birthday! | Happy Birthday!

36: Today is your day!

42: The world is round so that friendship may encircle it. | Paul & Joyce Tkach

46: Count your life by smiles, not tears. | Count your age by friends, not years.

48: Meryl and Joyce -- We were proud to be their friends and they were like our family. They were so much fun, and we just loved them! Joyce & Family

49: Birthday Celebration!

53: oooooo

54: Lind Family Reunion 2010

61: We had so many excellent dinners at Ralph and Merle's at Apache Junction, Arizona. I remember shortly after I had my stroke and I was not feeling up to par, Merle asked us over for dinner. I was concerned that I may not have any appetite, but the chicken dinner that she brought out was so great, I will never forget. I felt so great the rest of the evening. The Henfghan (Young) Farm at Rossburn Manitoha was about 4 miles west of the Hamilton Farm. Many years ago Merle would visit my mother, Jessie Henegan (Young). When those two 1st cousins got together the stories must have been good because their laughter was so great. I will never forget. Tom Henegan

62: A memory lasts forever, Never does it die. True friends stay together, And never say goodbye.

63: Ralph & Merle with Louise Hickey.

65: Our Memories Other than the wonderful family Christmases we had at Granny's house every year, my earliest memories of Uncle Ralph and Auntie Merle are when they were living in Jasper Place in Edmonton, Alberta. I remember Auntie Merle loved budgie birds, and Uncle Ralph loved sports, especially whenever the Edmonton Oilers or the Edmonton Eskimos were playing. My other most vivid memory was when Uncle Ralph and Auntie Merle tried to teach me to water ski. I'm sure I was their biggest challenge and I never really did succeed, through no fault of theirs! Luckily, my husband, Sheldon had a chance to get to know my Uncle Ralph a little bit before his passing. He wishes now he could have had the chance to get to know him a lot better, as he said he always felt good around Uncle Ralph who was so kind and personable, and always made him feel welcome in the family. We will miss them both very much and find comfort in the thought that they are together now, resting in peace. Dixie Reeve and Sheldn Schubert

66: Celebrating Bob & Norma Hanrahan's 42nd Anniversary @ Camelot Golf Course in Mesa, AZ (1991) | Merle, Bob & Norma Hanrahan looking for "Where the hell is Tortilla Flat," north of Apache Junction, AZ | Checking out the golf course in Penticton. | New Years Day, 1985, Fiesta Bowl, Tempe, AZ

67: Thanksgiving, Arizona (2000) | Merle & Ralph "Cutting a rug" | From quiet homes and first beginning, out to the undiscovered ends, there's nothing worth the wear of winning, but laughter and the love of friends.

68: MAKING MEMORIES | Bud and I met Ralph and Merle in the early sixties and our friendship started there. We had many great times with them, golfing, curling and trips together. One trip that stands out is our six weeks in Europe. Landed in Amsterdam, spent four days there and picked up our car and took off with Ralph as the driver and Bud as the navigator. Had a wonderful time with lots of laughs, good food and great wine while touring ten different countries. Many great memories of trips to Mexico, visits to B.C. and our time in Road Haven. Marion Hushagen

69: Hi Ross & JoAnn, I have this wonderful picture I would like to share with you. Also, I would like to add that of the 23 years that I have been here at the foundation, your dad was one of the nicest people I had the honor of meeting. Have fun putting together your book and think about all the wonderful memories. Take care, Love, Ellie Oxley-Brown | Memories of Ralph

70: Merle and Ralph "Goodbye," said the fox, "here is my secret. It's quite simple: One sees clearly only with the heart. Anything essential is invisible to the eyes." From St. Exupery's The Little Prince We said "Hello" 46 years ago. And soon we found an enduring place for each other in our hearts. Together we laughed and together we cried. Together we were bonded by love. Ann Wilson

71: October 28, 2008, Merle and Ralph at the October Fest Celebration. | We've been missing them around. Hope to see you and your family when you come to Red Deer in May. God's blessing. Rev. Mabel Woo

72: Pig roast at Neil & Lorraine's in Sundre, Alberta 2000 | We met Ralph and Merle in Roadhaven, Apache Junction, Arizona over 20 years ago. They were the kind of people who were instantly your friends. Merle was active in golfing and that is where I knew her the best. Ralph helped us with our plumbing when we built our shed on our lot. He knew how to do things right. A bunch of us Alberta Roadhaven residents used to gather once a year at Silver Creek Golf Course, near Camrose, and Ralph and Merle always came. Although Ralph didn't particularly like golfing he was always game to try. Merle on the other hand, couldn't get enough of it and was always very competitive even when playing for fun. One of her last golf games was at Silver Creek and, although she was having a lot of problems, she could still hit that ball straight down the middle of the fairway and make most of her putts. At the end of the game, even though she was very tired, she wanted to know when we were going to go again!! They were great people and it was a privilege to have them as friends. They are missed. Don and Billie Nelson

73: It will be the little things that I remember, the smiles, the laughter, the stories. It will be the horse shows, the dinners, the kentucky fried chilcken. I will remember the drives, the jokes, and the company we shared. We are told the ones we love remain with us, for love itself lives on. The cherished memories will never fade, and the time spent as your great niece was indescribable and gracious. As long as I can remember horse shows were blessed with your company and advocacy. You never missed a Red Deer show, and we all couldn't wait for the Saturday night as you would pull up with the biggest bucket of chicken. You both taught us all how to laugh harder, smile bigger, and realize the importance of how I remember my Uncle Ralph and Auntie Merle. How I remember my Uncle Ralph and Auntie Merle. It will be the little things that I remember about my Uncle Ralph and Auntie Merle. I got to know them both through our horse shows in Red Deer and the shows will never be the same. Always looking forward to Saturday night after a hard day of riding and they would show up with cookies and a bucket of chicken. To enjoy their company and sit back and listen to stories about the good old days helped me to learn about my great grandparents which I never got to meet. Uncle Ralph could sure tell a story and we would laugh and laugh and laugh. The time we had together was not long enough, but I will cherish it forever. They both took an interest in our horses and were very eager to learn about our shows and how they worked. You both taught us all how to laugh harder, smile bigger, and realize the importance of family, and for this, I will be forever thankful. Kristy, Brittany & Brooklyn Roskey

77: Ralph and Merle were married in December, 1954. We had a celebration of their marriage in the basement of our home in Crossfield, Alberta. Many family members and friends attended the festivities. We are very grateful to them for giving Tom the opportunity of a business partnership with Ralph. In 1964, in Edmonton, Alberta, Ralph and Tom started a very successful plumbing business known as Lind and Reeve Mechanical. Recently, as we sat and reminisced about the years past, we remembered fun, enjoyable and memorable times with Ralph and Merle, including barbecues, curling, Christmas parties, birthday parties and especially the weekends at the lakes around Alberta. They tried to make water skiers out of the Reeve family, but finally gave up on this daunting venture. While we were living in Phoenix, Arizona, we would often get together with Ralph and Merle during their winter holidays to the Road Haven Resort in Apache Junction. One year we all went to Dallas, Texas to visit their son, Ross and daughter-in-law, JoAnn. Then Ralph and Merle moved to Red Deer, Alberta. Once again the four of us became a lot closer, taking turns traveling back and forth for many enjoyable dinners and visits. We are also very grateful to Ralph for bringing us into the world of computers and e-mailing. This was another way to keep in touch on a regular basis. We were very grateful to be by Ralph's side on the day of his passing, in the Red Deer Hospital. We continued to enjoy many visits with Merle at Bethany Home, as Ralph had hoped we would. "Love is stronger than the loss of life. Even though love couldn't stop the loss of Ralph and Merle, it's what will keep their souls flourishing as they follow the path that now lies before them. Tom and Enid Reeve

78: Way back in the day of black and white TVs, the Linds were the Kyle's first family friends to acquire a color TV. This was a BIG deal to us kids, so on many Sunday nights Merle and Ralph would invite the Kyle family, with all four kids, over to watch The Wonderful World of Disney in color! Now that's good friendship! When they lived in Penticton and Ralph managed The Flintstone Village in Kelowna... once again he was like our Hero. Ralph took us to visit Flintstone Village after hours, so we had the whole park to ourselves. In our little heads we felt like celebrities! It was awesome! When Merle and Ralph moved to, I believe, Red Deer... Ralph did not want the condo neighbors to know that he was a plumber because everyone would be coming to him for every little thing, so as I recall, he was telling everyone he was a retired dentist! I don't know for sure if he actually did this or if it was just a good story that he and my dad enjoyed! Brilliant! One day when Merle and Ralph had stopped over to our parent's home for a visit, our mom went into the kitchen to make them some coffee. My mom was making instant coffee and had only poured the hot water into their coffee cups. She forgot the instant coffee. So they were served only hot water, and they drank it and never said a thing to our mom. When our mom went into the kitchen they turned to each other and asked... Are you drinking hot water? The coffee mugs were brown so you really couldn't tell by looking into the mugs. At some point, the story was shared and to this day we still tell the story of when our mom served the Linds hot water! They were too polite to say anything to our mom. I remember stopping by my parent's house one day after work to find Ralph there visiting. Not only were they having a good visit, but there was Ralph showing my mom how to use her new bread maker. He was big into bread making himself and was giving a lesson to my mom right there in the middle of the living room. He had a bit of Martha Stewart going on there at the time! It was adorable to see his passion for bread making! When our parents, Bill and Anne Kyle, had both passed, Ralph and Merle took our little brother, Jimmy under their angel wings. They called him regularly and visited him often. They meant so much to Jim. Ralph was truly upset to hear of Jim's passing. Ralph and his brother, Merve, boarded with my mom and dad, or with my dad's mom and dad. I can't quite remember. Their friendship was established many, many years ago and I know that my dad felt like Ralph was like a brother to him. There are not many people who can say they have a strong friendship that has been for over 50 years. Ralph and Merle Lind, and Bill and Anne Kyle had a friendship to be admired and envied. Since Ralph's passing, my husband, Les, and myself went on two occasions to visit with Merle. She no longer knew who we were, but she was glad to see us. In our hearts, I believe deep down inside that our family connection was felt between us. We last saw Merle on Thanksgiving 2010, and I am very thankful for our visit. I know there are 1000s more Kyle/Lind stories to tell, but I think their friendship of over 50 years tells a story itself. Love Kathy

79: Jim Kyle (2006) | Ralph & Merle (1970s) | A | A memory last forever, Never does it die. True friends stay together, And never say goodbye.

80: I miss Ralph & Merle so much and all the wonderful times we had with them. My mother and father (Anne & Bill Kyle) were very good friends with Ralph and Merle, I believe even before Ralph & Merle were married. Ralph & Merve (Ralph's brother) used to board with my parents. So for as long as I can remember Ralph, Merle & Ross were a big part of our lives. We were very lucky to spend much time at Ralph, Merle & Ross' house in Jasper Place in Edmonton). The Linds often invited us to come on a Sunday night to watch their color tv -- as we still had black and white. We watched Ed Sullivan and lots more. The Linds had the coolest house with the most modern and intereting furniture and accessories. In fact, we still have the first "TV Lamp" that was given to my parents by the Linds. To us Kyle children, Ralph & Merle were not just the best friends my parents had, but also the coolest. And it was passed down to Ross as I distinctly remember looking at Ross' feet (in the rumpus room) as he showed us how to do the "mash potato" -- the latest dance. Ralph & Merle seemed like our friends, as well as my parents. They included us as equals. We laughed with them and had conversations with them. | Kathy said she was going to tell the story of "no coffee" served to Ralph & Merle at our house. This was probably in the early 1980s. My mother must have been so excited to see Ralph & Merle that she gave them hot water in mugs intending to give them instant coffee, but forgot the coffee part. Ralph & Merle discussed there was no coffee in the cups, but never mentioned to my mom. The next visit they all had a big laugh about being served hot water. I was lucky enough to visit Ralph & Merle in Penticton B.C. when I was in my late teens or early twenties. Ralph wanted to play a board game. I do not like playing board games, but did so anyway. Next thing I was winning and Ralph was a bit frustrated by it. When Ralph & Merle opened Bedrock City in Penticton, B.C. we felt pretty special being able to go on all the rides for free -- imagine being a kid and your parents' friends own a place like Bedrock City. We always seemed to get the greatest recipes from Merle. Her "Unbaked Cookies" -- or as we called them "unbaked chocolate cookies," was our absolute favorite dessert. Jim, the youngest in our family, continued to make this recipe long after mom & dad had passed away. Kerry Kyle

81: Merle, Ross & Kerry Kyle Aug. 26,1972 Taken at Rod's wedding | Anne Kyle, Ralph & Merle (Red Deer) | April 12, 1951

82: It is so unfortunate that we did not get to know Ralph and Merle as well as we would have liked. During our visit for the Lind family reunion, you couldn't help but appreciate the love and laughter that was clearly provided by the root of the Lind family. It is easy to see where Ross gets his calming nature and his gift of gab! In the small amount of time we spent visiting Canada, I must say Ross and the entire Lind family created memories we will always cherish. We would like to say to Ross, that although we may not always find the time to tell you, you have always been in our thoughts throughout this journey. You have exuded strength and commitment that makes us proud to have you in our lives. You are so dearly loved and we are here for you as you continue to heal. Here's to Ralph and Merle!! May they rest in peace... together. Todd & Cyndi Williams

83: Memories It is hard to put on paper how you feel in your heart... Merle Lind... when I think of my Mother-in-law, I remember her beautiful smile and her outgoing personality. She made everyone feel welcome and loved and treated me like a daughter. She taught me how to play a fun card game called "Spite and Malice" and then usually would beat me. When we were at our cabin, we played cards while Dad and Ross worked. She was a fantastic card player and could add scores in her head faster than I could on paper. Mom played golf well, excelled in shuffling, loved to swim and was very active until her health prevented her from doing these activities. I will miss her and especially when we are at our cabin. A part of her will always be with us. Ralph Lind... what a gentleman. Beautiful grey hair and always dressed so nice... loving and helpful to all the residents at Road Haven in Arizona where they came every winter for six months. Dad was a plumber by trade and soon had more business than he could handle. He and Mom loved visiting with their friends, playing cards and socializing. After Dad's stroke, they had to sell their place and stay in Canada because of insurance reasons. I know they both missed the time spent in Arizona. Mom and Dad Lind... we will miss you! Thanks for enriching my life. JoAnn

84: Ross and Mom (1948)

85: Here are a few of the life's memories that summarize all the great things about my parents. First, there was the egg throwing incident with Tim and Wayne where I have my first recollection of danger and discipline when my Mom arrived to see the mess! Mom was always there for me, regardless of how smart or how stupid I had been. She was the great teacher for me regarding love of a parent. When Mom married Dad, I (at 7 years) missed the wedding as I was ill, and one of my regrets. I remember when they let me choose my new name, once I was adopted by Dad, I was so excited. I recall, vividly, my first fishing trip with Dad as he purchased fishing equipment and took me fishing to a slough north of Edmonton. I didn't catch anything, but had a great time with my Dad. Dad even let me drive the car home. . . well, I sat on his lap and he worked the pedals and shifted while I "steered." I bet his hands were on the bottom of the wheel out of my sight. That is what Dad was like. As I stumbled through life he was there always in the background coaching, guiding and teaching. Dad's work ethic was terrific. One of the really good things I learned, after they bought a new house in Jasper Place, was that even though Dad was not a carpenter, he could and would finish out the rumpus room in the basement. As I recall, there were many joyous parties with family and friends. Mom all the while, continued to be the wife, mom, family business bookkeeper, chief cook and bottle washer, tailor/mender/darner, leader to C.G.I.T. and encourager of my church attendance. With all those jobs, it is a wonder she had time for socializing, curling and attending high school football games. | I think Dad enjoyed giving gifts more than the beneficiaries did! Dad taught me to work to perfection in plumbing. Dad loved plumbing, played at the lakes and loved BBQ steaks on the patio. We went to junior hockey games, pro-football games, wrestling matches and lots of water skiing. I remember when the plug in the boat was left out and I, as a teenager, took the boat out to "warm it up" and it started to sink as I raced for shore! Dad laughed, but I never forgot the plug again! On another lakeside weekend, Dad was showing off that he could smoke and ski at the same time. Dad could not swim and he merrily skied along with all of us yelling and waving from shore, Dad with a big smile just waved back! When he landed on the shore, he paled with fright when we told him he was without his ski vest! When Mom came down with Alzheimer's, Dad stepped up and took upon him, over time all of the chores that Mom could no longer achieve. My Dad's raw emotion of this disease robbing him of his true love, was awesome. Over the years, Mom steadily declined and Dad just got tougher in his resolve to care for his bride. Even though my Dad's body was wearing out, he never thought once of giving up on Mom. That is a parent's demonstration of family love I shall never forget. I cannot write everything, every touch, every conversation, but this will show how dynamic my parents are and how much I miss them. Thanks for a great life, Mom and Dad. I love you, Ross

86: One of the greatest gifts that life can give to anyone is the very special love that families share. . . As years go by, it's good to know that there will always be certain people in our lives who care. For there are countless things that only families have in common and memories that no one else can make. . . And these precious ties that bind a family together are bonds that time and distance cannot break. How fortunate we are when we have relatives to love us, it makes the world a happy place to be. . . Few gifts in life will last as long or touch the heart as deeply as the very special gift of family.

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  • Title: A Tribute to Merle and Ralph
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  • Published: almost 9 years ago