We Remember

DURST, Ralph W. M.

July 29, 1927 — July 21, 2021

Ralph Durst was born in Muckden, Manchuria to Max and Hanna Durst on July 29, 1927. In September 1939, the family left Hong Kong and returned to Germany where they lived throughout the war.

Ralph, always the adventurous soul, arrived in Halifax in June 1951. His rail ticket would take him to Victoria and as he crossed Canada to scope out different cities, it was Vancouver that he chose because it was so reminiscent of Hong Kong. This was where he met Elaine Churchill, the love of his life. They married July 26, 1952 and lived in the South Cariboo for one and a half years before returning to North Vancouver.

Ralph had a 35-year association with Riley’s Reproductions where he started in Vancouver as a salesman. He progressed and transferred to Calgary, Ottawa, and finally to Edmonton as Branch Manager until September 1986.

He battled with rapid advancing glaucoma since 1974 and was declared legally blind in 2012. Throughout this journey Ralph maintained his steadfastness and good humour.

After retirement, he and Elaine spent several winters in Arizona or California. In 1989, with the VW “Bug” behind their motorhome, they again crossed Canada to start a six-month journey circumnavigating the United States. Other travels include a journey to South-East Asia with their two children in 1978, a return to Europe in 1995, and cruises to Alaska, Hawaii, and through the Panama Canal.

Ralph’s final journey ended on July 21, 2021 with Elaine holding his hand at his bedside, presenting him with a kiss, and telling Ralph of her love for him.

Ralph is survived by his loving wife Elaine; daughter Lorraine Graff (Dana); son Randy Durst (Sheri); grandchildren Mason Graff, Jenna Graff, Robyn Durst, Brandon Durst; great-grandson Hudson Harris; brother-in-law Harold Churchill (Beverley) several nieces and nephews.

The family would like to thank Dr. M. Morgan and the caring staff in the Driftwood unit at Cottonwoods for their loving care during Ralph’s tenure there.

There will be no service. Memorial donations may be made to the Driftwood Unit, Cottonwoods LTC, 2255 Ethel Street, Kelowna, BC V1Y 2Z9.

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