Ralph Ray Nelson






May 21, 2024

In Loving Memory

Ralph Ray Nelson

The family of Ralph Nelson wishes to share the news of his recent passing, from congestive heart failure, at Kamloops on May 21, 2024.

Ralph was born January 30, 1931, to Nels and Mollie Nelson of Blue River, B.C, the third of five children who grew up on skis in the Cariboo Mountains at what was then known as “the end of the road” (pre-Yellowhead highway through to Jasper and Edmonton). Through his teens, Ralph worked on his father’s horse logging show, cutting poles to be skidded down mountain sides and loaded on rail cars. He met his future bride, Sheila, in Kamloops and settled there. He commuted in a Volkswagen Beetle between home and Tod Mountain, the ski resort now known as Sun Peaks. Being fit and bush savvy, Ralph lived in a tent during the week while cutting the ski runs, such as the Five Mile. From there he hired on with Marini & Sons, beginning a long career as a carpenter and foreman on projects all over Kamloops and beyond. Ralph operated sideline ventures of his own through the years such as cedar shake roofing production and installation, log house building, and renovation jobs. He continually shared lessons in resourcefulness and the value of a job well done. Ralph passed on to his children the passions for skiing, fishing and for being in the great outdoors. Some of his favorite pastimes included wine making, the art of fly tying, campfires, and good conversation. Ralph is predeceased by his wife, Sheila (January 3, 2024) and is survived by their daughter Verity (Collin Brink), their sons Chris (Sharon) and Clifford (Kathy), and by their grandchildren Tyler and Elyse.  

The family plans to have a Celebration of Life for Ralph in the coming months.

Arrangements entrusted to

Cypress Funeral & Cremation Services 250-554-2324

Condolences may be expressed to the family by phone or email through Cypress Funeral & Cremation Services:

T: 250-554-2324 F: 250.554.3505

665 Tranquille Rd #4,
Kamloops, BC V2B 3H7

E: [email protected]

Leave a comment

Comments: 16

  1. Laurie Kennedy says:

    I know I would have liked him!❤️

  2. Jean Nelson says:

    You have covered his life beautifully Verity, I know he would be happy with what you have said. However he was actually the forth of five children but that is not important. When you write something on Facebook like that how do you distribute it the general public? There are many people who will want to read this.

  3. Dianne & Peter McCosker says:

    Have many lovely and fond memories of Ralph & Sheila. We always enjoyed having visits with them and hearing some of their stories.
    All our love to the family.
    Dianne & Peter

  4. Audrey Watson says:

    He was an interesting man. I remember his smile the most. He always seemed interested in what other people were doing.

  5. Pam Loadman says:

    Dear Nelson family

    This is a beautiful tribute to your Dad, Ralph. What a good and full life he lived. He was well loved by my parents and I always enjoyed the times I got to spend with him – listening to a good story or him sharing his vast knowledge and ability with practical and useful tips on how to ski better!

    Take care and relish the memories

    xo Pam

  6. Taya says:

    My hero!

  7. Verity Brink says:

    We are planning a ‘celebration of Dad’s life in the coming months.
    Ralph was the fourth child of Mollie and Nels Nelson.
    The news of his safe arrival on January 30th, 1931 (in the city of Kamloops) was on a note attached to an “arrow” that was thrown from a passing train into a snowbank, for his father to find, at Blue River, B.C.

  8. Sigi White says:

    On behalf of the Sun Peaks Antiques group, for all those that skied back then when Ralph was in his prime, we send you our condolences and with thoughts of Ralph.
    Skiing with Ralph and his wide, smooth and fast slalom turns, was a pleasure. I remember it so well.
    He was there back when our group was just a loose bunch of ski enthusiasts and before we had a name for this bunch of older people that still love to ski.
    We will not forget Ralph since a ski run is named after him up there. For many years Ralph had a duplicate sign hanging over the door at their unit in Berwick.
    Our sympathy and gooD memories to the family
    from Sigi White
    Sun Peaks Antiques

  9. Laura Jones says:

    The photo of Ralph smiling while the snow is falling around him really says it all. He was a hard worker and adventurer and the loved a good party. I feel blessed as an inlaw of the larger Nelson family to have known him and his special family – Sheila, Verity, Chris and Cliff. Ralph, I know you did a few perfect telemark turns as you skied off this planet.


  10. Renee Taylor says:

    May 31/24.
    Dear Nelson Family and Friends:
    Hello! How have you been? Despite the type of occasion (eg, a wake for your Mom) that caused us to meet earlier this year at the Kamloops United Church, I’m sorry to hear of your Dad’s passing. I didn’t know Mr. Nelson well, but he seemed to me like many fathers: Laconic, knowing he’s trapped in a situation of his own making (!) Feeling rather ambivalent about it all and using dry humour to deal with the darker parts. (Does this describe him?) My own father seemed conflicted by fatherhood until the end of his life, so I hope Mr. Nelson understood how humourous it can be to others looking in on things. I hope all of your relationships with Mr. Nelson had been successes, at least for the most part.
    Thank you for letting us know!
    Renee K. Taylor,
    Former Newspaper Carrier (1972,)
    “The Kamloops Daily Sentinel.”
    (My route included parts of Rayleigh on the outskirts of Kamloops, BC, and the Nelson Family Home on Spurraway Road.)

  11. Trish Archibald says:

    I will always remember Ralph as I ski Ralph’s Reach. My thoughts are with his family as you deal with the loss of your mother and father this year.

  12. Evelyn Morris says:

    To all the Nelson Family,

    Sorry to hear of your loss, sending deepest condolences and prayers of comfort to guide you.

    Although I did not know Ralph personally, growing up in Blue River we all knew the Nelson Clan.
    This man was definitely a true icon and will always be a valued part of our Blue River heritage.
    Very interesting to read of all his ventures. It sounds like a life well lived, thank you for sharing .

    Again, my sympathies

  13. Shawne MacKay says:

    Dear Verity, Chris, and Cliff ,

    Deepest sympathies for the loss of your dad. And so close after Sheila’s passing is especially difficult I’m sure.

    I have many fond memories of your dad and I love the picture above of him laughing on the ski hill. I will always remember Ralph for his humour. I was thinking of him working on the kitchen cabinets in our funny little house on Lombard. Every time one of us went through the kitchen, he would stop work to tell a little joke or anecdote. Mom finally told us to stay out for a while, as the job was taking a little longer than she’d hoped and she wanted her kitchen back! But she also loved Ralph’s sense of humour, so she wasn’t really upset.

    Such great memories of times spent with our two families. so glad our parents became friends – it was a gift to us all.

    Sending love and sympathy from both Trish and I.

  14. Rob Palmer says:

    Far too many grand adventures and incredible trips to even try to count.
    Thank You Ralph!

  15. Ingeborg Marxrieser (Inge from North Vancouver) says:

    Dear family Nelson,

    Thinking of you in the loss of your father Ralph just shortly after Sheila’s passing.
    There is love that will live forever, and there are memories that will shine through the sorrow.
    May the wonderful memories be with you and comfort you at this time of grief.
    I never met Ralph in person, but hearing his stories and seeing pictures, I always felt I knew him well.
    May he rest in peace.
    With deepest sympathy,

  16. Rose Hanna says:

    What a wonderful tribute to your father. I never met him but he sounds like a very special man.
    My condolences to all the family.

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