Ralph Charles McKone
May 26, 1926 ~ April 27, 2010
Ralph Charles McKone passed away after a lengthy battle with Alzheimers on April 27, 2010 at the age of 83 years.
Ralph was born in Lashburn, SK on May 26, 1926, eldest son of Fred and Elsie McKone. He spent his growing up years on the farm in the Tyrone district west and south of Lashburn not far from the Battle River where the hills were good for skiing and tobogganing in the winter time.
He attended school at Tyrone and helped his dad on the farm. In April of 1944 he joined the army and just before his troupe was to go overseas the war ended. He was discharged in June 1946.
Ralph worked on construction building post war housing for a time and then decided to become a farmer in the Lashburn area. In the spring of 1952 he decided to build a house and with the help of a neighbour the project got underway. While working on the house he had the misfortune to run a nail in his finger and blood poisoning developed, which meant a stay in the hospital. While there he met Noreen Wells, who later was to become his wife.
On June 15, 1953 they were married and on June 15, 1954 daughter Gail Ann was born. On June 16, 1956 Neil came along. November 20, 1958 Clayton was born, sadly he passed away January 4, 1959. In following years, February 4, 1960 and March 23, 1961, Patrick and Joel joined the family. The years held many good times as Ralph added to his land base and became very active in the community. Needless to say, many trips were made to accommodate the activities of the children.
Shortly after having a ride in a friend’s small plane, Ralph signed up for flying lessons and he was hooked. Following the completion of his training and getting his private pilots license, he bought a Citabria and was able to give rides to all the family that waited in line as well as checking on the cattle in the river pasture. Ralph thoroughly enjoyed flying and spent many happy hours cruising the sky. During this time he had also taken up the hobby of photography. He had photos in many exhibitions and nearly always came home with ribbons. This hobby continued long after he retired from farming.
He had a keen interest in old cars and ½ tons and obtained his first old car to restore (a 1929 Model 65 Chrysler) in the mid 70’s. This was followed by a 29 Plymouth business coupe, 46 and 47 Fargo half tons, a 26 Dodge Brothers touring car, several more Dodge cars from the sixties and a 1965 Chrysler 300. These old cars brought many hours of pleasure and sometimes frustrations as they were restored one by one.
Ralph retired from farming in the spring of 1981 and did backhoe work around the neighborhood until he moved to Creston, BC at the end of August 1986. He had bought an acreage with a nice house in 1985. There was much work to be done in the yard and a garage had to be built to accommodate the vehicles and have a shop to work on them. He joined the car club and the photography club as well as volunteer work at the Wildlife Center. Later he became interested in radio controlled model airplanes and model trains. Ralph was also a member of the Royal Canadian Legion, Odd Fellows, Gun Club and the Saskatchewan Wheatpool.
As his health failed he became less active and on December 28, 2005 he moved to the Swan Valley Lodge where he lived until his passing.