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Ralph Nursall (1925 - 2020)
General News · 9th December 2020
John Nursall
RALPH NURSALL (December 25, 1925 – December 5, 2020)

It saddens us to announce that our father, John Ralph Nursall, passed away on December 5 in Campbell River. He went peacefully into the night, with we three children – John, Alan and Catherine – all by his side at the end.

Born John Ralph Nursall to Helen and Jack Nursall in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Ralph was an only child with a vibrant and vigorous life ahead of him.

Ralph earned BSc and MSc degrees in biology from the University of Saskatchewan, followed by a PhD in zoology from the University of Wisconsin.

While in Saskatoon, Ralph met Mary Stewart. After a lengthy long-distance courtship, they married in Toronto in December, 1953. Ralph and Mary made their home in Edmonton for 35 years, both of them working at the University of Alberta. They raised three children – John, Alan, and Cathy – and found time to take them around the world, having lengthy sojourns in London, Barbados, Australia, and many places in between. Most recently, in their incredibly active retirement years, Ralph and Mary resided on Cortes Island where Ralph filled two terms as Regional Director and was dedicated to preserving the island in its idyllic state for future generations.

In his impressive 95 years, Ralph was an acclaimed academic, teacher, administrator, zoologist and paleontologist. With the mind of a scientist and heart of an artist, he was truly a Renaissance man who made a lasting impression and left a remarkable legacy.

Ralph is survived by his three children, John, Alan, and Cathy, and five grandchildren Alexandra, Kimberly, Cameron, Hanna, and Conor.

A remembrance and celebration will be announced at a later date so that friends and family can pay tribute to this amazing and memorable man.

Donations to the Alzheimer Society of Canada in Mary Nursall’s memory would be greatly appreciated