It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of Ralph Gordon on February the 26, 2020 in Rancho Mirage Ca. at the age of 88. Ralph is survived by his loving wife of 63 years Ethel, daughter of Abraham and Sally Malian, and sisters-in-law, Evelyn Hecht (Larry) and Seema Ariel (Brian).
He will be lovingly remembered and deeply missed by his children Marshall (Amy), Sherwin (Nancy) and Kayla (Art Maister) and 6 grandchildren -Avril (Angela), Aaron (Brittany), Adam (Vivian) and Carly (Greg), Jacob and Cara. He was blessed to recently spend time with 4 great-grandchildren -Keira, Blake, Kenny, and Hallee. He will be affectionately remembered by his nieces and nephews and many dear friends.
Ralph was born May 21, 1931, the son of Samuel Gordon and Nettie (Schweid). Sam came to Winnipeg from Vilna in 1915, then moved to Minnesota, joining the U.S. Army for World War I. After the war, Sam returned to Winnipeg to visit relatives where he met Nettie, also an immigrant, who had come from Austria to be with family. Sam and Nettie had three children: Helen, Lou, and Ralph.
Ralph grew up in the North end of Winnipeg on Alfred Avenue. He went to Machray School and St. John’s Tech. He was fun loving and an avid sportsman, and sang in the school operettas. He graduated from United College and the University of Manitoba. As a student, he worked for The Manitoban newspaper and was a member of the Zeta Beta Tau Fraternity. On June 19, 1955, he married the love of his life Ethel. He was a dedicated, devoted husband and dancing partner to her for 63 years. In the first years of their marriage, Ralph had several jobs. He was a manager at The Bay and then he sold and designed furniture at Ideal Brass. He was delivering furniture one day to St. John’s College and one of the nuns said, ‘You should go into education”. He took her advice and enrolled in the Faculty of Education at U of M taking classes over 3 summers. He later returned to complete his Master’s degree. He taught math and business in the St James School division at Ness, Samson Jr. High and John Taylor Collegiate for 25 years. Memory-filled summers were spent at Falcon Lake and then West Hawk Lake. He coached Hockey and was a certified Tennis teacher. Ralph was always generous with his time and patiently taught so many how to snow and water ski. He was instrumental in the establishment of the Tuxedo Tennis Club and taught tennis there for ten years. In his spare time, he supervised the construction of their unique homes in Tuxedo and Linden Woods and he built two summer cottages. He was the “second Jewish carpenter”. For Ralph, it was always about adventure and making memories, for himself, for Ethel, and for their family and friends. His memory and legacy will be cherished and he will be greatly missed.
Funeral Services were held at the Shaarey Zedek Synagogue in Winnipeg on March 4. Pallbearers were Adam Gordon, Aaron Maister, Greg Karon, Benjamin Hecht, Paul Hecht, Hardev Bains. Honorary Pallbearers were Evelyn Hecht and Jacob Gordon. Donations in Ralph’s memory can be made to the Jewish Foundation of Manitoba and Parkinson Canada.