The family of Ralph James Fulford sadly announces the passing of a loving, caring husband, father, grandfather, son, and friend of many on Tuesday, Dec. 21, 2004.
Ralph was born in Emo, Ont. on Sept. 10, 1949 at his Grandma Fulford’s nursing home to Betty and Calvin Fulford.
Ralph married Gail Livingston on July 20, 1968 and they were blessed with two daughters, Kim (Wade) McMahon of Fort Frances, Ont., and Randi Fulford of Winnipeg, Man. Ralph was so proud to be the grandpa of Cody, Brett, and Brady McMahon, and Baeley Fulford.
Ralph graduated from Falls High School in International Falls, Mn. in 1968.
Ralph retired in 2000 as Fire Chief after more than 25 years of exemplary service with the Fort Frances Fire Department. He was proud of his department and worked with a dedicated group of men.
He had a rewarding career as a firefighter (1974-1987) and fire chief (1987-2000). He also held the position of E.M.O. co-ordinator (1987-2000).
After retirement, Ralph and Gail spent winters in Mazatlan, Mexico, and considered that to be their second home as they had made many good friends there and they always kept in touch.
Ralph got the golfing bug while in Mexico and spent as much time as possible on the course. Flying was another passion of Ralph’s after getting his pilot’s licence under the direction of Francis Einarson in International Falls.
Ralph enjoyed every minute of time spent with his grandsons, and watching Cody in football, and Brett, Brady, and Baeley in hockey. He would watch and the look on his face would show his pride in “the boys.”
Ralph was well-known and highly thought of throughout the district. Others always came first to him as he would willingly lend a helping hand.
Ralph was predeceased by his father, Cst. Calvin Fulford on Dec. 25, 1958; maternal grandparents, Stan and Midge Beninger; paternal grandparents, James and Janet Fulford; and Helen and Irving Livingston, his mother-in-law and father-in-law.
Ralph is survived by Gail, his wife of 36 years; daughters, Kim (Wade) McMahon of Fort Frances, Ont., and Randi Fulford of Winnipeg, Man.; grandsons, Cody, Brett, and Brady McMahon, and Baeley Fulford; his parents, Betty and Jerry Ronning of International Falls, Mn.; and sisters, Janet (Marty) Hanzlik of Hayward, Wis., Linda Skime of International Falls, Mn., and Jill (Mark) Bixby of Prior Lake, Mn.
Ralph also is survived by his special nieces and nephews, aunts and uncles, cousins, and good friend and brother-in-law, Dan (Carol) Livingston. Also very dear friends and travelling companions, Ray and Carol Bujold and Donna and Merv Steele.
Ralph will be sadly missed by all his family and friends as there is now an empty spot at our table. To my dear husband and best friend, I will miss you always and love you forever. You were the best husband, father, and son we could have asked for.
Funeral services will be held Monday, Dec. 27, 2004 at 10 a.m. at Green Funeral Home in Fort Frances, with Pastor Larry Fullerton officiating. Cremation will take place at a later date.
Visitation will be held Sunday, Dec. 26, 2004 from 7 until 9 p.m. at Green Funeral Home in Fort Frances.
Honourary pallbearers will be his son-in-law, Wade McMahon; grandsons, Cody, Brett, Brady, and Baeley; brother-in-law, Dan Livingston; and the active and retired firefighters of the Fort Frances Fire Department.
Should family and friends so desire, in memoriam donations may be made to the Fort Frances and District Mutual Aid Association, c/o the Fort Frances Fire Department, 320 Portage Ave., Fort Frances, Ont., P9A 3P9 as Ralph was instrumental in its organization and development.
< *c>“Walking with Grandpa”
I like to walk with Grandpa,
his steps are short like mine.
He doesn’t say, “Now hurry up.”
He always takes his time.
I like to walk with Grandpa,
his eyes see things like mine;
a birdie bright, a funny cloud,
a penny that really shines.
Most people are in a hurry,
they do not stop and see;
I’m glad that God made
Grandpa unrushed,
and almost as young as me.